It may be early in the year but 2018 has already got off to a dream start from any self respecting doom/sludge fans perspective with this split from two of Britains mightiest bands Mammoth Weed Wizard Bastard and Slomatics. The split album is titled Totems and is released on one of the country’s best labels Black Bow. Now, if there were two bands who were perfectly suited to doing an album together it would have to be these two and they certainly don’t disappoint as the resulting music is some of the best doom and sludge you will hear all year.
Mammoth Weed Wizard Bastard start the split off with the twelve minute epic The Master And His Emissary and this opening salvo begins with an eerie, throbbing synth which sounds like something out of a classic John Carpenter film before massive riffs and grooves take hold, with the results coming on like a sonic earthquake. As the song gets heavier, the dreamlike vocals of singer Jessica Ball come into play and they elevate the song to an even higher plain and that parallel sounds stunning.
The bands second addition to Totems is Eagduru and the track kicks off much the same way as the opening track did before a militaristic drumbeat gives way to the heavy as granite riffs and Balls ethereal vocals emerge from the void again and the results are no less devastating as they were on the first track, this is first class doom, as hazy as it is heavy and music that is nothing less than enchanting.
With such a strong opening, it would be difficult for most bands to follow that, but Slomatics are not most bands and simply slay with their heavier than thou music. The Belfast band are heavier in a different way to Mammoth Weed Wizard Bastard and simply get on with the task in hand, and that is crushing heads with the heaviness of their music.
Slomatics have three tracks on Totems, with two epic tracks sandwiching a much shorter and even bleaker song than we are used to from the band. An ominous and bleak intro opens their contributions to the album before that first track of theirs, the hypnotizing Ancient Architects kicks into life with its lurching heaviness. Its mogadon paced groove allows the heaviness to seep out in a less direct fashion that makes much more of an impact and demonstrates the full power of the band.
The bleak instrumental Silver Ships Into The Future follows and while it is bleak, it is also beautiful with its funereal nature adding atmosphere between the bands two heavier efforts. This is a icee of music that will captivate you but just as you feel spellbound by its majesty, Slomatics third track and the closer on the album, Masters Descent explodes with a huge riff that builds and builds and that combined with the soaring vocals, ends the split exactly the right way with a progressive and anthemic sonic finale.
Don’t hesitate for one moment to buy Totems, it is epic, expansive and features two bands in Mammoth Weed Wizard Bastard and Slomatics that not only are musical kindred spirits but are also at the top of their game when it comes to delivering consistently brilliant heavy and forward thinking music.
Two of the finest underground bands in Britain come together on this monstrous split release which will mesmerise and brutalise in equal measures.