MAMMOTH BLACK ‘Death Is Not Ashamed’
Label: Stonerkill Records
Release Date: December 9, 2014
This is MAMMOTH BLACK’s first album, and not bad at all for what it is, which is basically a slow-to-mid tempo stoner/sludge metal/rock. Most of their songs are lyrical tales of deceit, agnostic confusion, drugs, love gone wrong, loss of self, and just general woe and confrontation. You know, stuff anyone listening to this is probably all too familiar with.
Vocalist Brett Lloyd (whom is also working on a book with Ryan Kent of GRITTER, titled Screaming On The Way Down) belts out his anger like he really wants to kick someone’s ass, and assures us that we are all as doomed as he is. These are lyrics that speak of the pain and torments we all feel in our darkest moments, accompanied always by the creeping, chopping low-end guitar work, supplied by Billy Strong and Ross Becker.
The rhythm section is tight as can be; this is not sloppy sludge. This is well produced (apparently in Raleigh, NC, this past fall) by Dick Hodgin, who’s also produced CORROSION OF CONFORMITY and VELVET REVOLVER. In fact, the production is SO good it lays upon the music like an oil slick on water, glimmering just enough odd color variations so as to hide the on water, hiding the real filth just underneath; there is a sheen and shine that just doesn’t work for me, personally.
I like my sludge to sound like sludge . . . like the sloppy, decrepit filth it is meant to be (SUNN O))), OM, SLEEP, UNCLE ACID AND THE DEADBEATS, etc.), not so clean and potentially radio friendly as this at times comes off. However, that is not to say this is a bad album. It’s just too crisp for my liking.
I hate comparisons, but it’s hard not to find many throughout the album. There’s definitely an ACID BATH/AGENTS OF OBLIVION, stoner-metal period CORROSION OF CONFORMITY vibe that encapsulates the whole of the album itself, but very clean variations of the above mentioned bands. One influence I swear I am hearing a lot of is that of an old Texas band from the early 90’s, called KINGHORSE (Glenn Danzig produced their first album, which if you’ve never heard is really worth finding) — there is something about this that most definitely reminds me of that.
Definitely solid, not bad for a first release. I recommend this mostly for fans of any of the above mentioned bands, and stoner/sludge in general, just don’t expect highly improved 25 minute long epics of the feed-backy noise-fuzz goodness so often associated with the genre.
MAMMOTH BLACK will perform at their official album release show, taking place at Shakas in Virginia Beach, VA on December 12th. The show will also feature performances from Gritter, Irata, and Saltine. For more information, visit www.shakaslive.com.
MAMMOTH BLACK plans to tour the U.S. east coast this January through March, stopping in select cities. Stay tuned for more information coming soon.
As mentioned above, MAMMOTH BLACK’s Brett Lloyd and Gritter’s Ryan Kent will also be releasing a book, via Dead Books Publishing in January 2015 called, Screaming On The Way Down. Stay tuned for more details on the book.
The album is available for pre-order soon via iTunes and CD Baby, as well as right now at MAMMOTH BLACK’s Bandcamp (Mammothblack@bandcamp.com).
If you pre-order via Bandcamp, you get ‘Open Death Letter’ as an instant download! Can’t wait? Check out a new music video for the track here:
To learn more about the band, please visit www.facebook.com/mammothblackva.
Vincent Daemon, writer and rabblerouser, can be followed on FB @https://www.facebook.com/vincent.daemon.1 , and join his blog The Writings Of A Depraved Mind @http://vincentdaemon.blogspot.com/?zx=e40931ba40511a11