Register Forgot login?

© 2002-2022
Encyclopaedia Metallum

Best viewed
without Internet Explorer,
in 1280 x 960 resolution
or higher.

Privacy Policy

Ufomammut / Lento > Supernaturals: Record One > Reviews
Ufomammut / Lento - Supernaturals: Record One

Intergalctic Propulsion Metal - 90%

Mercian Doomster, April 19th, 2022

I'd not even heard of this album until very recently so I wasn't completely sure what to expect. I am a huge fan of Ufomammut's psychedelic space sludge, but I have never come across Roman atmospheric sludge metallers Lento before hearing them on here. The cover of Supernaturals is especially uninspiring, with merely the title in plain-looking text on a mainly black background, similar to Sabbath's Master of Reality I suppose and gives no clue as to what may be concealed within. Anyway, it all turned out well, because it's heavy, metallized space rock is very much my sort of thing. This is real wall-of-sound stuff, a wall built of the ultra-heavy stoner doom of Sleep and Electric Wizard, cementing it to cosmic-flavoured post-rock, such as that found on Barrows' superb Red Giant album (which this predates by seven years, so may have been an influence on) then reinforcing it with some Hawkwind-style space rock. Some may sniff at the 'Hawkwind comparisons, but the jam during Painful Burns Smoke as the Presence Sets Us Down in Supersonic Waves sounds so much akin to the sort of jams heard on the numerous live versions of classic Hawkwind tracks like You Shouldn't Do That and Brainstorm and The Overload has such a lot in common with The Age of the Micro Man on The Hawklords' 25 Years album that it is impossible to conceive that the UK's veteran cosmic travellers weren't a strong influence. Of course this is way heavier than Hawkwind ever were and certainly has also taken plenty of influence from the best of sludge and atmospheric sludge outfits like Neurosis, ISIS and even Eyehategod. In fact it is so heavy it feels like it creates it's own gravity well and may well be the densest stoner metal ever produced.

I like to think I have a decent imagination and I absolutely love albums that may not possess too much of a narrative of their own, but allow the listener's mind's eye to roam and create it's own narrative structure around the music. Supernaturals - Record One is absolutely one such album and, having listened to it a number of times, I can say it feels like a different journey each time I take it, filled with cosmic power and awe, from the thrusting propulsion of tracks like Infect One and Painful Burns... to the drifting in space, open-mouthed, witnessing of galaxy-wide supernovae sensation of Maestoso. This is absolutely an album in the stoner tradition and I can imagine it would probably take on a whole other level of meaning if listening was pharmaceutically assisted, but those days are long gone for me and I will settle for the raw, unaltered sonic trip as offered up in it's unfiltered form as it is a terrific slab of cosmic metal.

This is what a collaboration should sound like! - 90%

caspian, September 17th, 2013

Collaborations between doom bands are typically good times, but while getting two bands together can generate some interesting results (Thinking mainly of Sunn/Boris and Nadja/Atavist, although there's quite a few others), the end product, while interesting and perhaps somewhat unique, just isn't anywhere near as good as the product of the individual bands.

Well, normally anyway. Ufomammut are a solid if not particularly unique doom band, and I haven't heard any Lento, but I doubt they're as good individually as this album is. The end result of two competent but overall unremarkable sludge bands has resulted in an absolute beast of an album.

Descriptions are fairly simple, but only really scratch the surface of just how good this project is. Electric Wizard at their most stoned and psychedelic covering mid-period Neurosis, or perhaps mid-period Neurosis covering the more psychedelic Electric Wizard songs. Feedback everywhere, heaps and heaps of suitably drugged out effects (these dudes love their flangers), a huge amount of layers (I guess having 8 dudes at the recording session helped this aspect a lot), more tribal beats then Through Silver in Blood and Enemy of the Sun combined (Particularly in the excellent freak out that's the third track) , and buried screams into oblivion, and even a few riffs hanging around here and there. Another good description would be a really, really stoned early Isis covering.. mid period Neurosis- Down a particularly good example, with some very celestial-like riffs.

And it's pretty hard to say much else about this really. A quick review of this would basically be "Mid Period Neurosis with more effects", as that's basically what it is. However, that is by no means a bad thing, especially when it's this well done. Whether it's the huge, tribal beats and hypnotic feedbackin' and riffin', and even the glimpse of redemption and light that's the excellent 'Overlord', this album slays hard. Messy, hypnotic, harrowing doom that's pretty much essential for anyone who likes their stuff slow and really heavy. Highly recommended, and I really hope that these guys get together for another recording session sometime.

ivory galactic hybrid - 55%

RapeTheDead, September 8th, 2013

When I signed myself up to review Ufomammut's discography, I never thought I'd ever have to do so much extensive and failed legwork as I did in preparation for reviewing Supernaturals: Record One. It's a split album between Ufomammut and Lento, and I had never heard the latter so I felt it necessary to familiarize myself with their music before I even begun. In addition, I still have absolutely no clue who's playing what and where- I don't know if they're all just freely jamming in one space or whether different artists are playing in different songs or what- I couldn't find much information about this album on the internet. What I do know is this was recorded around the time that Supernatural Cat, the label owned by Urlo was just beginning to open its doors to the world, and the only other thing I could find in regards to the circumstances of Supernaturals: Record One was a brief interview snippet in which Urlo said that he listened to and loved Lento's music, thought they were great guys and said that it was an important principle of his label to maintain a good and close relationship between labels and bands. One can only assume this one-off improvised collaborative jam session was some sort of way for the two bands to establish that sort of relationship, and I guess they thought the end result was good enough to release to the public. It's interesting in a variety of ways, but inevitably, the reason as to why one would bother releasing something like this is questionable.

Because there are no songs or segments that seem to be dedicated to one specific band, the album seems much more like an even and indistinguishable mixture of the two, and that was probably more-or-less the intent of the bands and should probably be reviewed as such. The two do have quite similar sounds even while still both being unique entities, and the similarities are synthesized while their differences are more fully highlighted in the music- Lento is something of a heavier, more serious and pondering Russian Circles (and Russian Circles were already pretty serous and pondering to begin with), with long-winded minimal sludge that manages to retain tension and interest through a tertiary adherence to rock-based music, and for that reason alone this record's heart beats a little faster and it moves a little more than Ufomammut's albums do, and the droning, sub-sonar pulse that makes Ufomammut so inconceivably heavy ties everything down and brings the consistency and weight to the music that Lento sometimes lacks. The riffs are much more in line with what Ufomammut usually do in their stark, unflinching simplicity but the clean guitar bridges are definitely a lot more characteristic to Lento and they have a little more nuance and groove than Ufomammut are capable of pulling of. In terms of trading creative influences and really trying to get the most out of both bands' styles, this is a really good record.

Where this album falls flat and becomes somewhat pointless is in its improvisational and spontaneous nature. One of the things that always captivates me about Ufomammut is that although there's not a whole lot going on, the song still clearly took a lot of time to write, evident in the fluid, seamless motion of the song and the strength of the transitions. There's still careful attention in the composition of the song, even if its base components are minimal in their own right. Seeing as this is more of a jammed-on-the-spot sort of deal, it doesn't have the full range of motion of their musical ideas on other full lengths (Lucifer Songs notwithstanding, perhaps), nor are the transitions as easily flowing. Quite the contrary, in fact- musical ideas are inserted with some sort of adherence to a concept but are mostly just added as they come- obviously not uncharacteristic of a jam session, but not always making for an experience that gives the listener the ability to suspend his or her disbelief. The riffs, while not extensively differing from the rest of Ufomammut's back catalog, have clearly not been tinkered with and polished with the same way others seemed to have. While they're certainly given enough time and room to grow, nothing is added to them in the process and they end up just hammering out a riff until it gets boring, the, go into a keyboard break or maybe add a slower riff or something, I don't know. In their simplicity, the riffs fall back on a lot of simple, conventional techniques for the genre- they're the closest thing I've heard from Ufomammut to generic stoner rock/doom, and that isn't really a compliment- fuzzy-burnt out riffs do sound pretty samey and boring after you've heard enough of them. Ufomammut manage to be a cut above even when just bashing out numbers on the spot, with some songs- "Painful Smoke Burns As the Presence Sets Us Down in Supersonic Waves", in particular- even having some pretty strong moments.

How does that make this album a pointless release? Well, it's essentially just a full-length preview of what appears to be an embryonic idea. I don't know if they wanted to gauge fan interest or something, but most of the flaws of this album can be found in its choppiness and spontaneity. There's no vocals (much like in Lento), the keyboards waver and drift without defining a melody, and there may be good ideas being presented but what's the point in releasing them to the world if nothing is fleshed out, especially considering Ufomammut's usual philosophy of extensive detail, not only in the music but in the artwork and packaging. The actual reason why they decided to release something as half-baked, albeit as curious and occasionally-pretty-good as this is still a mystery to me. I'm personally chalking this one up to excitement to get something out there to make this new Supernatural Cat label heard. Supernaturals: Record One, while not bad by any stretch of the imagination, isn't something I would necessarily recommend for you to buy, but if you're a fan of both of the bands on this collaboration there's no reason this wouldn't interest you. Although Ufomammut are slobbery and uncontrolled in their release of ideas this album does signal towards a more spacious, pure, and heavy-as-lead-nuts approach in songwriting- after much exploration and experimentation, all the tools for building a magnum opus have been gathered...