Ever since Sleep's "Dopesmoker", it appears that the unspoken dream of every heavy-ass rock band is to create their own towering one-song sonic monument. In recent years bands like Boris, Orthrelm, and Buried at Sea have tried their hand at the epically lengthy piece, with each band injecting its own unique DNA into the body of one loooooonnnnnnggg song.
Italian veteran doom/psych monsters Ufomammut have taken up the challenge offered by these kindred spirits. "Eve" is their take on the megalithic track, broken into five movements--to loosely paraphrase the band's words, "Eve" is an homage to the mythical first woman on earth, in honor of her rebellion against her creator in bringing knowledge to humankind. Whether this is a biblically-tinged recasting/regendering of Promethean legend or not makes little difference, as the concept quickly takes a back seat to the band's music when Ufomammut gets down to business.
The various segments of "Eve" all have a certain thematic unity, yet they are significantly different from each other. Where some bands might start off stomping, on "Part I" Ufomammut builds a dark and densely psychedelic atmosphere before pummeling it away. Snippets of noises and voices surface briefly, only to vanish in their own decay, slowly sinking into pools of delay. "Part II" continues down a creepy road, guitars offset by buried voices and deep synth drones. The band holds back on the fury for the most part until the crushing "Part III", as the restraint of the earlier parts falls away under a mountainous riff. The indecipherable vocals suddenly become more prominent, and sound explodes outward as the band utterly destroys a simple pounding riff. Instead of reaching a cathartic end, "Part III" eases into "Part IV" with a delicacy that belies the heaviness of the music. "Part V" is an appropriately massive end-piece, building slowly for six minutes or so before picking up speed around a murmuring chorus of backward voices.
Ufomammut don't break much new ground here, as influences ranging from the Melvins to Sleep to Boris are evident throughout. But the long-form composition suits them well, as they adorn the body of the piece with continually interesting textures. As for the overall concept, it passed me by, unnoticed--but that didn't matter at all. I was too busy rockin' out to care. 7/10 -- Mike Griffin (16 June, 2010)