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Ufomammut - Oro: Opus Alter

Tapehead   (41 reviews)

Posted: 10/21/2012 | Comments: 1 | Rate:

Opus Alter, the second installment of Ufomammut’s Oro series, is to be taken contextually as the last half of the band’s envisioned and realized “suite.” I’ve struggled to consider this while pulling Opus Alter apart, listening for any difference of approach or just trying to figure out if it truly ties together. I’ve found it’s damn near impossible not to compare it to its predecessor, Opus Primum, as the five months of elapsed time between releases makes this new album seem like a follow-up.

While the album conforms to the precedent established by its predecessor, Opus Alter isn’t as enveloping and it sounds much smaller. There is less to surround you musically by this phase of Oro, and its hard rock approach is more about riffs and less about size. The slow crescendo of “Oroboros,” while attempting to build up to somewhat of a climax at its introduction, works well in delivering a heavy payoff at the album’s opening. The grunge-laden tone of “Sulpherdew” leads into a heavy raft of chugging percussion and ethereal vocalizations and the thumping “Sublime,” despite its very slow and ambient introduction, relies heavily on one singular guitar-based construct. “Deityrant” is all muscle during its first half, an atmospheric flurry of feedback and soundbytes bringing the album to a close.

Though decent enough on its own, as a second chapter to a series that had evidently shot its load with the initial offering, Opus Alter doesn’t do much to enhance, improve or even really complete what Ufomammut had intended and any attempt to tie both albums together sounds forced. “Luxon” is essentially an alternate version of “Infearnatural” from Opus Primum whose opening theme is also shoehorned into the mix arbitrarily in an effort to unify both albums. This installment, unfortunately, suffers from being less convincing, a rough draft that fulfills the band’s M.O. but lacks the depth of intensity necessary to help Oro maintain Ufomammut’s desired and expansive effect.

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I've like everything that I've heard from them. . .let's hope this release it the same way

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