Mammoth Volume – The Cursed Who Perform The Larvagod Rites
Blues Funeral Recordings
Release Date: 19/08/2
Running Time: 42:27
Review by Dark Juan
Alright, me old muck spreaders? It is I, Dark Juan, and I come to you from a completely different house to Dark Juan Terrace as I am babysitting four guinea pigs (named Death, Fire, Fear and Mortis) and a fluffy bunny (who answers to Fang) for my grandchildren. They may or may not have the names I have assigned to them in actuality. I shall leave you to judge whether or not I am an inveterate liar but will leave you with this little nugget of information – I have a lot of stories and the more outlandish ones are the ones that are probably true. I also offer the following for your consideration, dear readers. My grandchildren are composed of three entities: one who I am convinced is a fae halfling and here to be an ecological force for good if you can only get her head out of a book for more than fifteen seconds, a teenager who has not yet reached the annoying stinky argumentative bastard phase but will only talk to you when he is prised away from his technology. Although it is entertaining watching him blunder into things when wearing his VR headset. Grandchild number three is a violent dictator who constantly wishes to know which is stronger – a megalodon or a T. Rex? This has gone through several evolutionary epochs already and shows no sign of slowing down. He is also a small palaeontologist who can pronounce the taxonomic names of dinosaurs more effectively than I can speak English. In between the fights. The boy loves nothing more than a good old-fashioned straightener on the cobbles…
So, as I am in unfamiliar surroundings, I have retreated into music to calm my fevered nerves. I don’t deal well with change and Dark Juan Terrace is my safe space. By that I mean it is for everyone else’s safety as I can get a mite… aggressive and unkind when I am struggling with something. Today’s balm for my tortured soul is from Mammoth Volume, the Swedish Prog Stoners, and is their first release for TWENTY years! I tell thee, when I think of twenty years, I am picturing the 1980’s. I can’t wrap my stupid, old and somewhat concussed (I clouted it on the landing yesterday and spent the day curled on the sofa because I was dizzy and sick. Put it this way, due to enforced resting, I now know more about the Iron Warriors and the Emperor’s Children of Warhammer 40k than I ever did) head around the fact that we are now over twenty years into the new millennium. I digress however…
It’s clear when this record comes on that you’re dealing with something a bit different than your usual Stoner or Doom Metal. Mammoth Volume clearly have as much to do with Yes and Jethro Tull and Hawkwind as they do with Doomster Reich or Kyuss. It’s actually pretty fucking good. ‘Osteoporos’ rocks heavily over classical keys and stabby strings with a glorious disregard for the conventions of any music, yet with a thoughtful acoustic passage with a touch of phaser wah in the background. ‘The Lightwedge 60’s Race, Zombie Piccolos and the German’ absolutely wins the award for most batshit song title of the year, but the tune is a marvellous, twisting, snakelike thing that takes you from Space Rock to Classic Hard Rock to Psychedelia and back again via a meandering, gently noodling outro.
The band sound absolutely magnificent throughout the record, reminding this jaded old hack of Britain’s own Lucid Sins and Red Spektor mixed with Friendship and the Hard Rock stylings of Lucifer. Production-wise, the seasoned listener is in for a bit of a treat. Every instrument is perfectly placed in the mix, and the vocals sit in a position where they can be regarded as another instrument and of equal importance to the music as the guitar, bass and drums. Even the snare sound is acceptable and you all know how anally retentive I am about snare sounds. Fuzz, phaser and wah abound in quite egregious quantities and the fucking riffs this Swedish band have! Unholy fucking Satan, the riffs. Mammoth Volume have so many riffs they operate in some kind of otherworldly riff smorgasbord. They have a sea of riffs that they swim endlessly in. They are riff mermen who are unconcerned with musical rules – ‘A Lullaby Of Doom’ proves this by slowly building from a simple riff and maracas up to a full on Sabbathian assault by the end of the song.
Unusual sounds, little bits of dissonance and flicks of classical music, bells and triangle among other things give the record a surreal, otherworldly quality and the vocals are also superb – brothers Jörgen and Nicklas do a manful job throughout. Special mention for more clearly obvious insanity goes to ‘Diablo V – Lanternsong’ due to its chucking of Scandinavian folk, spoken word passages, acoustic finger picking, flute, insanity in the lyrical department and bass horns into some kind of alchemical cauldron and coming out with something that really does breathe new life and entertainment into Stoner and Prog by creating a soup of inventive arrangements and absolute batshit nonsense. ‘Diablo V’ could be a Jethro Tull song in more than a couple of parts, and this is to the band’s absolute credit.
Basically, I think I have just found my new favourite Swedish band. When Lucifer, Blood Ceremony and Coven come smashing together, Mammoth Volume is what you get. Album opener ‘The Kuleshov Effect’ is a mighty tune. Chunky, rough cut guitar lords it over a wailing, plaintive vocal and female backing vocals courtesy of Iza Elfström and a chorus that could level cities with ease, Mammoth Volume effortlessly show that heavy doesn’t necessarily mean fast or violent. Slow and steady can also be heavy as fuck. ‘Diablo IV’ is also all laid-back grooves and lazily threatening – like a gangster relaxing in his chair, but cleaning his nails with a large knife and staring rather fixedly at the poor schmuck in front of him. Measured aggression.
So yeah, if you dig spaced out Stoner groove with added Prog madness, you’re gonna fucking love Mammoth Volume. Dark Juan officially does!
The Patented Dark Juan Blood Splat Rating System awards Mammoth Volume a superstoned 10/10 for a simply incredible album. It hits every mark Dark Juan has for music. It’s heavy, it’s interesting, it’s inventive, it’s performed with verve and gusto and it’s fucking good fun trying to work out where it’s going next. Especially when you’re wrong. It even has a mad little 70’s porno keyboard solo in ‘Medieval Torture Device’.
01. The Kuleshov Effect
02. Diablo IV
03. Medieval Torture Device
04. Want to Join Us? Come Back Later!
06. The Lightwedge 60’s Race, Zombie Piccolos and the German
07. A King and a Tyrant
08. A Lullaby of Doom
09. Diablo V: Lanternsong
Jörgen “Aston” Andersson – Vocals
Daniel Gustafsson – Guitars, Keyboards
Kalle Berlin – Bass
Nicklas Andersson – Drums, Vocals, Percussions
Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Dark Juan and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.