A couple of years ago I reviewed Mammothor’s self-titled debut EP, and back then I was impressed by the band’s hard and heavy mix of hard rock and grunge, with an added psychedelic flair. The band’s follow-up to that release is Tyrannicide, released in 2014, which incorporates some of the tracks from that EP while also adding several new, ripping good tracks.
Just like on Mammothor’s previous EP, this album has a dark and heavy undertow that goes beyond just the music: this is a band that digs deep, and it really comes through in the lyrics on every track. You can hear it right off the bat in the chorus on the terrific, hypnotizing groove of ‘Slave One Day’: “You came to this world a king / You will leave the world in chains / You will be a slave one day”.
‘Gong Bonzer’ and ‘Curse of Time’ are two rollicking hard-rockers, while ‘The Stand’ goes for an all-out epic feel, flaunting some outstanding guitar work.
Mammothor goes for a different vibe on ‘The Bird Man’, a softly flowing track with an off-kilter dreaminess to it and a nightmare-vision at its heart: “Up on the hill there’s a man that turns me inside out / Time for the wolf is still in the hour of my doubt / A minute can be forever when sleep tries to pull me down / When night after night I see him drown”.
‘Recovery Blues’ is one of the new tracks, and it is a standout: I’d probably pick this as my favourite tune on the album. It has an awesome bluesy pull and a free-flowing vibe that is just electrifying. There’s a spirit and fire in the band’s playing here that really makes this hard rocking blues track come alive.
Kicking off with an almost ZZ Top-ish heavy guitar groove and swing, ‘Atlas Stoned’ is another great track, amped up by smashing drums and with a rough and rowdy edge; while ‘Worst Night’ (another favourite of mine) goes softer, almost tender – with some beautiful guitar beneath the passionate vocals.
The album closes out with the throbbing, heavy pull of ‘Mammothor’, and the hefty rocker ‘Tyrannicide’. ‘Tyrannicide’ has everything: bass and guitar just roaring, an Eastern sway, and some rather glorious guitar-shredding, putting more than a bit of flash and lightning into the mix. Just like the other tunes, this track gets an extra dimension from the lyrics, with an edge of righteous anger and defiance cutting through: “Build Gallows today / Tomorrow watch their feet sway / Take freedom for a ride / We commit tyrannicide”.
Quoting inspiration from bands like Led Zeppelin, Iron Maiden, and Soundgarden, Mammothor pulls together some grunge-rocking grit with a lot of rip-roaring, hard-rocking fire. Judging by this album, adding a good measure of the blues to that mix was an inspired idea. Tyrannicide proves that Mammothor is a band with impressive chops and unique voice: I’ll be very interested to see where this band goes next.
- Slave One Day*
- Gong Bonzer*
- Curse of Time*
- The Stand*
- The Bird Man*
- Recovery Blues
- Atlas Stoned
- Worst Night
*From the EP Mammothor
Lineup on the album:
- Jimmy Douglas – vocals
- Josh Johnson – guitar
- Dana Sharpton – guitar
- Brian Perry – bass
- Adam Lentine – drums
- Jeff Barberie – keys
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