Mammothor are from the Boston area and have shared the stage with artists such as Living Colour, Ted Nugent, Sponge, Prong, Fuel, Saving Abel, and Hinder. Blending heavy metal and classic rock, Mammothor often mixes in elements of blues and fusion. Despite their experimental, progressive style, Mammothor maintains mainstream appeal with shorter alternative rock songs and ballads. But on their second CD, Devotion Lost, they manage to stretch things without losing that economical approach to the songs.In doing so they also surpass their debut with flying colors.
There are a lot of new up and coming metal acts with many influences felt back to the early eighties when it all really started. And sometimes, you have got to revisit those times to get the overall ethos. Mammothor do just that without forgetting the current landscape too much, and that is why they’re going places on Devotion Lost, their second helping. It has all the hooks metal is known for, along with all the things that people also don’t like it for. Storytelling, deep and sometimes dark lyrics, glorious power chords, etc. It’s all here and more. In fact, it goes perfectly well with their first album. And it even edges it in the process.
“Howling Baying Jackal” is a melodic way to begin this platter full of power in all the right areas. You can hear everyone from Judas Priest to Testament on this and more. They did the right thing by opening with this, and you almost feel like you’re in another time, but that happens more than once throughout these songs. It’s just impossible to set down once this goes by. You want to play it over again but you also want to move onto the rest. The guitar players blend so well they practically come to life before your ears. But I’m going to mention even though it is produced well, it lacks a little punch to match the composing efforts. It’s a good thing that it’s only the first song.
Don’t expect them to slow down, as “Skin” takes on even more incendiary sounds, with a more chanting, menacing vocal that always finds itself in the right grooves. There is a presence of Metallica-level attitude that doesn’t disgrace, but rather helps maintain a playful way to convey the more serious words. But this one goes to many metal platforms by the time it’s said and done. It might be one of the sleeper tunes, might not. But if you have their first album, you’ll make up your mind a lot easier about this. Either way, it is a progressive thing you either appreciate or not. There are both simple and complex songs to even it out.
There are also a couple of cool short numbers with no vocals, which are entitled “Anatma” andit is guitar driven, and “Launch Pad” which is bass driven. Both add good texture to the songs they’re surrounded by. And at this point I would bar all thought of them as an alternative rock band, as they weigh in so much better as simply prog-metal. Sure, there are a few classic and alternative rock moments, but so many more maintained in a much harder style. They just inflect some AOR sound, and that might even be how the production plays out to slightly weaken the overall sound. It plays a few tricks that way. But it never leans too far one way or the other.
If you like hardcore metal, it has that too. Just visit the excellence of “Shadows OfObvlivion” or “Blood-Soaked Candy Heart,” but don’t expect them to go beyond comprehension, as they never forget to make it accessible. These two help the heavier side of the CD, as where such numbers like “Faith Healer” also contain that but a commercial side as well. And it is even more explored on the great “Elusive Engineer,” which are two of my hot picks. But you’ll find it all here when it comes to what metal can offer, with several other high points, such as “Generation Thief” and “This is Not An Exit” as well as “Tyrannicide” to follow up some of their first release.
In closing they make an exit with the bludgeoning but playful “Pillar Of Simeon.” This is a call to all heavy rock and metal lovers to add something new to your playlists, as most of it is a winner.