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.