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(4 Reviews)

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  • The usual stoner rock soundscapes; mid-paced jammin rhythm section, flexible and loose, big distorted guitar wailings abound, and sparse, swirling vocals a la Dead Meadow. Available on vinyl too.

    Posted on December 30, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • Looks to be the first of two CD releases from this West Coast four piece. Some would tag it as great ’stoner rock’ as others might describe it as ‘progressive metal’. You call it. Either way, this four song effort is pretty dang good. Tracks I thought were to be most inspiring were the last two cuts that appear to sort of run together. The eight-minute “Dragon Of The Deep, Part 1″ and the soaringly epic twenty-two minute “Dragon Of The Deep, Part 2″. Well done. Personnel: Nicky-guitar&vocals, Mike-guitar, Chris-bass and Aaron-drums. Might appeal to followers of Bongzilla, Monster Magnet, Electric Wizard, Kyuss and Sleep.

    Posted on December 30, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • Mammatus are a psychedelic stoner rock band from Santa Cruz, California. While they haven’t been around for a long time, they deliver on all levels with their self titled debut. The album, in my mind, is like a combination of the psychedelic bands of the past and the psychedelic bands of today. They also know when to lay down some heavy grooves ala Sleep and Dead Meadow.

    Opener “The Righteous Path Through The Forest Of Old” combines this element very well with some long jamming and interesting chord changes that put to image a bandit running through a twisty forest. After a few minutes, we switch gears to a very heavy groove with a lot of swirly effects, and buried vocals in the vein of early Dead Meadow. This song has a lot going on, but it just sounds like it was played live too. Very sweet.

    The drone-rock of “The Outer Rim” paves way for “Dragon Of The Deep Part One.” which has a twisty riff going in and out, then slows down to kick another massive groove. The band really knows how to structure their songs so that the climaxes sound more climatic.

    The 21-minute epic “Dragon Of The Deep Part Two” shows everything that Mammatus can do. A powerful intro leads way into a very climatic center when the band is in full force. After a long atmospheric breakdown, the band decides to get completly heavy. A riff as heavy as Sleep’s Dopesmoker comes through the mist, and we are left slowly nodding our heads to this beast of a song.

    This is an absoulty incredible debut, coming from a band that has only been around for a year. I look forward to hearing more from them real soon.

    Posted on December 30, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • Whoa, heavy!! This is a whole-body vibrating, brain-melting, serious amplifier worship ceremony! The first time I saw these guys, last year sometime at the Hemlock here in San Francisco, I was blown away… I’d been told the were a heavy ’stoner rock’ outfit from Santa Cruz and worth checking out, but I didn’t realize they were gonna be quite so AMAZING. Hairy backwoods hippy dudes, the drummer wearing what looked to be a home-made Whysp t-shirt, guitars turning the air to cottage cheese a la Blue Cheer while creating a trance-zone worthy of Finland’s Circle!! So good that I immediately bought the live cd-r they were selling.

    So yeah, heavy stoner rock this is, but waaay psychedelic and Hawkwindy, kinda like what maybe you thought Circle side-project Pharaoh Overlord was gonna (and sometimes does) sound like. Loud, massive and mesmerizing, swirling sludge psych! Their songs, often of epic length, are ever chugging skyward, dripping molten goo, full of feedback and fx. Their energetic riffage and warm drones are adorned by drifting vox (not unlike Dead Meadow, with whom they share certain proclivities) and fantastic, metallic, progtastic imagery. Take note of titles like “Dragon Of The Deep” (parts one and two!) and the Roger Dean-esque cover art by Arik “Moonhawk” Roper.

    Further musical comparisions aren’t hard to come up with — Mammatus belong in the company of such bastions of cosmic heaviness as Sleep, Boris, YOB, UFOmammut, Earthless, old Monster Magnet, Acid Mothers Temple (at AMT’s heaviest, like on Starless & Bible Black Sabbath), Tarantula Hawk, and even Amon Duul (especially on the druggy, krautrocky jam “The Outer Rim”). And of course they’re now labelmates with OM, which also makes perfect sense. If you love many, or even just any, of those bands and the sounds they make, this comes highly recommended.

    Posted on December 30, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now