New Heavy Sounds is very pleased to bring you the new album by Mammoth Weed Wizard Bastard.
Titled ‘Yn Ol I Annwn’, Welsh for ‘Return To The Underworld’, it is the third part of the trilogy of albums that began with ‘Noeth Ac Anoeth’ in 2015 and 2017’s ‘Y Proffwyd Dwyll’ (which got them nominated for the Welsh Music Prize in 2017).
The final phase of their intergalactic journey if you will. Whilst MWWB as a band, have never been overly visible, they don’t tend to be idle.
2018 saw them release a split 12” with kindred spirits, Slomatics, and being personally asked by Robert Smith of The Cure to play his Meltdown in London. Not to mention playing an international array of dates and other festivals, prior recording this epic third album.
So this Summer, along with new bassist Stuart Sinclair, MWWB returned to Skyhammer Studios and Chris Fielding, to create ‘Yn Ol I Annwn’.
The eight songs that comprise this album, sees the band delve deeper into their collective influences, embracing full on space rock, atmospheric film soundtracks, melancholic acoustic interludes, psychedelia, cosmic moog’s and percussion, moments of introspection and light … and of course, large helpings of doom. The fat riffs, big hooks and endless space grooves are all present and correct.
And once again Jessica Ball’s voice glides over it all, both sweet and melancholy, yet this time more assured. A myriad of stacked harmonies and layered vocals weave in and out of the tracks, adding an ‘other-worldly’ melodicism to the songs. Though it must be said, some of it may surprise … here’s what guitarist Paul Michael Davies had to say …
“For the 3rdalbum I wanted to take the band’s sound even further but still stay true to what made us start the band in the first place.
Personally, I think the doom scene is (thankfully) thriving, but some of the ‘genre’ tropes can be a bit limiting, and we are all about pushing that. So some elements of this album will be something different for the usual doom fan.
There’s what I would call ‘avant-garde’ bits to it, and I wanted more of a Sci-Fi/soundtrack element to it as well as the usual heavy riffs. We’ve used the cello on more songs to make them more atmospheric as well as a lot more synths. It’s kind of a nice mix of our usual heavy riffs but with some fresh elements. I personally feel that it’s our best work yet, and concludes the trilogy perfectly”
Vocalist Jessica Ball adds …
“Album number 3 definitely fits in with the theme of our music evolving, as we’ve been hinting at with the design on our album covers. It’s a journey that the band are on together musically, and this album reflects that, especially if you compare it our first album. I hope that the fans who loved us in album 1 will appreciate the soundscape we are trying to create as a whole, constantly experimenting with each members’ musical styles and instrumental ability. I feel that we’ve really pushed the boat out on this one, I can’t wait for it to be released!”
Check out the album trailer here
In fact, the album as a whole is very much a sonic journey into some cosmos on the edge of forever. Just turn off the lights, turn up the volume and be transported to dance at the end of time.
The short moog piece ‘Tralfamadore’ is your starting point for a voyage that takes in the cosmic space doom of ‘The Spaceships Of Ezekiel’ which manages to mix prog time shifts, heavy riffing, moog licks and catchiness within its eight odd minutes.
Fata Morgana has its rolling almost folk-ish guitar melody on which Jess Ball’s vocals float and shimmer, until it crashes into full on sludge and shoegaze for the second part of the song.
‘Du Bist Jetzt Nicht In Der Zukunft’ is an atmospheric cello and synth soundscape with Ball’s vocal textures weaving and dancing throughout.
Title track ‘Yn Ol I Annwn’ is down tuned, fuzz drenched, ethereal. It could almost be pop, if it wasn’t for the strangeness and heaviness that lurks within.
Katyusha is a 13 minute plus instrumental. With its many parts and riffs interlocking and changing, it’s a journey in itself. It could even be said that this is a distillation of the band’s classic ‘Nachthexen’ updated and streamlined for the final part of the trilogy … but we think it simply rocks.
‘The Majestic Clockwork’ is a chugging leviathan punctuated with cello stabs, staccato vocals, fuzz drones and floating choirs, before riffing out on a moog trip.
The album closes with ‘Five Days In The Abyss’ a mix of atmospherics and fat crushing riffs, an ideal way to end our journey … destination … somewhere new.
The band’s music has developed and been honed over the previous two records, but there is no doubt that they have distilled the essence of MWWB into this one. Previous comparisons to Windhand, Yob, Sleep. or whatever, are rendered completely redundant with ‘Yn Ol I Annwn’.
No one else is pushing the boundaries of heavy like MWWB. Mammoth Weed Wizard Bastard sound like Mammoth Weed Wizard Bastard, full stop.
‘Yn Ol I Annwn’ is set to land on March 1st 2019 and will be available on CD/DL and limited edition double vinyl. First pressings will be housed in a gatefold sleeve. With a Green/Blue marble version and an Amber and Red disc version. Full download included.
It can be pre-ordered here
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