Sunday 31 December 2017


"Sabbath" and "worship" are two words banded around quite a lot within the stoner/doom community, often as a criticism levelled at bands/artists whose grooves lean heavily towards those proto-doom refrains first foisted on us from those godfathers of all that is heavy Tony, Ozzy, Geezer and Bill. What do you do though when your grooves are not especially sabbathian but your vocalist has an undeniable Ozzy-ish hue to his vocal delivery that will undoubtedly draw those Sabbath comparisons? Well Norway's Black Mammoth's answer is simple.. deliver an album that stands proudly on its own merits and is so damn good that those tired comparisons become redundant, something the band have strived to achieve with their debut album "Overlord of the Pleasuredome"

An album's artwork can often be the best indicator for the music it is designed to decorate and the warm glowing valve adorning the cover of "Overlord of the Pleasuredome" is the perfect advert for the warm "organic" grooves to be found within. The word "organic" suggests a certain earthiness to the music on offer and that is exactly what Black Mammoth deliver, earthy grooves of proto-ish metal coated in clean, perfectly pitched vocals. From the deeply distorted guitar intro of "Artificial Goliath" to the groovilicious fade out of title track "Overlord of the Pleasuredome" listeners are treated to a delicious and diverse array of proto tinted doomic metal fronted by the distinctive Ozzy-ish tones and swirling solos and riffs of guitarist Glenn Thomas Solberg. Solberg's voice and guitar, a force in themselves, are superbly backed up by the powerhouse rhythms of drummer Ronny Kristiansen and the grumbling, growling bass lines of Tor Erik Hagen, the pair locking in together to create a variety of rhythmic platforms for Solberg to decorate with powerful guitar work and Lovecraftian lyrics. Black Mammoth know a thing or two about how to pace an album also, balancing out their heavier onslaughts with songs of a more considered, less abrasive dynamic, such as "Here I Am" and "Cauldron of Lies", songs that show this trio can kill and chill in equal measure and are so much more than just worshippers at the sabbathian altar.

Black Mammoth freely admit the role Black Sabbath have played in influencing their grooves but they also cite Kyuss, Thin Lizzy and The Stooges as influences in shaping their sound. To dismiss these guys as another in a long line of  Sabbath sound-a-likes just because their vocalist sounds a little like a certain Mr Osbourne would not only be doing the band a disservice but also a disservice to yourselves, Do yourself a big favour before you decide on which side of the fence you stand regarding Black Mammoth and give "Overlord of the Pleasuredome " a spin, you might find there is more to these guys than first meets your ear.
Check 'em out ....

© 2017 Frazer Jones

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