Mammother – Devotion Lost
CD BABY: https://www.cdbaby.com/cd/mammothor7
Mammothor strives to deliver the essence of rock: the thunderous heavy metal riffs and guitar shred of the 80’s, rounded out with the passion and versatility of 90’s alternative. Mammothor is an American hard rock band from Boston, Massachusetts, formed in 2012. Travis Lowell fronts the group with powerful and versatile vocals. Berklee graduate Josh Johnson studied with guitar shred legend Joe Stump while Dana Sharpton has studied with virtuoso guitarist Greg Howe. The dynamic and steady drums of Nick Raby fill out the band’s eclectic sound. This new year is bringing a lot of surprising new, as well as old sounds with it, and Mammothor is just one of them. They not only seem to have that jump on what clearly looks to be a new era in hard rock and heavy metal music, but they gain much lead with those not resting on, but using classic and alternative rock to a modern advantage. You can hear it as the first song blows doors off radio rock, without its musical disgracing its power source.
“Howling Baying Jackal” might be a little too heavy for radio, but that is ok, as they do come closer to that platform on some of the other tracks that go everywhere from ease to complicated in one fell swoop. They waste no time giving groups like Tool and Megadeth a nod without copying them. It’s instantly evident when you hear how they capitalize on influence, instead of stealing their heroes’ thunder. The pounding percussion of “Skin” is a big example of that, as it cleanses before it madly bubbles along into a soft guitar break “Anatma,” between it and the even more mainstream “Faith Healer” which is not a bad track whatsoever, but still has something missing about it. If I had to find what that is, I’d have to add another minute or so to make it seem less unfinished. It’s the only part where I felt cheated, only because it could use more of what it packs. There’s some sonically cool sounds that could use some repeating is all. But it gets off track nowhere, to be fair about it. It’s just odd how a song can do that or not and still be very enjoyable. Your mileage could very on this, depending on where you stand. But there is no denying it is what it is, another good track. This gets more interesting on “Shadows Of Oblivion” with a riskier vocal to throw it off all the more. But it holds such a mighty groove, you can just sponge it up for all it’s worth. To back track to where the last track lost me, this one could lose that extra minute and it wouldn’t hurt in making them both better. Just a couple of flaws worth noting on what is a hard release to fault anywhere. The most radio oriented stuff they get into is probably on the slower but adventurous “Elusive Engineer.” This seems to be where their collective efforts seem to cross most boundaries and make them sound somehow familiar. It’s more than slightly poetic and very musically satisfying. You get whisked away by practically everything about it. What a marvelous if somewhat derivative idea, with that sound you know you’ve heard before but can’t quite put your finger on. It has that making of a good hit all over it, but it doesn’t mean it’s all there is on offer. It’s just a peaking point of the CD. And then it gives way to some fantastic guitar is made on “This Is Not An Exit” as it finds its huge punch in the solo and lays waste to their alternative rock pigeon hole by doing so. But the more mainstream vibe comes back on “Generation Thief” and this release is sealed as the near perfect beast it can be. The vocals just rule on this to the point where Travis Lowell is established as a force to reckon with. There is a lot to describe as everything gets back on track with this glue ball of sorts, which the next track “Blood-Soaked Candy Heart” threatens to bury but never quite does. But it gives room for a huge bass solo called “Launch Pad.” This opens up the door to “Tyrannicide” to work its claws into you and leaves you with the most difficult to describe content of “Pillar Of Simeon” as it takes everything out in elusive style.
If you like guitar solos kept in your alternative rock, this will float your boat. I think it exceeds that genre and then some, as it goes much further into darker, heavier rock and metal territory than some might suggest.