Mammatus - "s/t"
(Holy Mountain Records 2006, 17974)
From Aural Innovations #35 (January 2007)
Hailing from Corralitos in Santa Cruz County, California (the OLD weird Santa Cruz, as it says on a sticker on the cover of the album), this electric quartet stirs their sonic cauldron and concocts some truly monstrous space rock with delirious stoner vibes.
The nearly 10-minute The Righteous Path Through the Forest of Old kicks things off with a dazzling 3-minute space rock jam before slowing down a little into some heavy, Sabbath-style riffing and deep in the mix, heavily reverbed vocals, building slowly to it's rip-the-roof-off-the-world conclusion. The Outer Rim is a pure space voyage, with guitar effects shimmering and gliding around deep cosmic drones, walls of freaky noise and trippy Middle Eastern influenced percussion and melodies.
The band takes their name from the term for the biggest, heaviest clouds found in the sky. With a name like that you'd expect something big, and it doesn't get much bigger than Dragon of the Deep. Clocking in at over 30-minutes, it's divided into two parts. Part 1, at 8 ½-minutes, gets things moving with a steady groove and some great, funky, freaky guitar-work before launching into a wild, crazed noise jam and a slow build towards Part 2. This monster clocks in at over 22-minutes, and starts off in deep space (or maybe deep seas?) with eerie, wailing atmospherics and stormy drones before a slow drum and bass line kicks in building to another absolutely incendiary space rock freak out. It all eventually dissolves into some more mind-melting atmospherics and guitar drones before the long, slow burn towards the end with a deep, gigantic stoner jam finish. It doesn't get much better than that!
Using just drums, bass, and duel guitars, these four guys totally go out on a limb, exploring as far as they can with the most basic instrumentation, and the results are mind blowing! I also like the fact that each piece evolves and changes as it progresses, rather than just relying on a few riffs and jamming endlessly. This is terrific monster rock for space and stoner fans alike! Highly recommended!
For more information you can visit: http://www.myspace.com/mammatus.
Also visit: http://www.holymountain.com.
Reviewed by Jeff Fitzgerald