Mammoth Weed Wizard Bastard is a band from Wales, and although the band name might sound a bit odd and weird, they're all business. Their debut was released only nine months ago but they already return with this masterpiece. The album is produced by Chris Fielding of Conan, which should not be a surprise. Led-heavy riffs and punishing drums clearly blasts this band into the world of doom and sludge metal. However, there is something unique in their approach, something they call 'Shamanendoom'. Their secret? Two surprising and brilliant elements.
The first one comes early in the album, in the form of the beautiful and dreamy vocals of Jessica Ball. Through her participation this act sounds like the lovechild of Conan and Cocteau Twins. Yes, doom meets dream pop, "dream doom" so to speak. She turns excellent and pretty catchy doom songs like 'Valmasque' & 'Testudo' into epic pieces of music. That's also what I meant when I said "now, don't ruin it". I would have hated this stunning beauty to be ruined by sludge screams of death growls.
The second surprising element is the fact that every single member in the band seems to play synths, next to their original instrument. Now, you might think, "yeah, synths, we heard that before" but they come in different forms. 'Testodu' feels like the doom version of Tangerine Dream while 'Osirian' is an immersive piece of industrialized drone doom. Something like that. These synths add a lot of psychedelic energy to the music, something I found rather irresistible.
In all, this album is a gem, one that every fan of slow, dreamy music should have in his possession. I can't wait for these Welshmen and -woman to crossover to the ancient mainland and conquer our venues. It shouldn't surprise you that this album comes extremely recommended.