I just had to hear this one, especially when I read that their music features cosmically dark psychedelia and has drawn comparison with Hawkwind, Cult of Luna and Amon Duul II. Mammoth Weed Wizard Bastard are from Wrexham/Wrecsam, hence the title is in Welsh. “Noeth ac Anoteth” means Naked and Unwise. What really matters is the quality of the music of which expansive heaviness is promised along with those psychedelic elements.
This album comprises three tracks including “Nachthexen”, which is described as a “30 minute doom rock space opus”. But first comes “Les Paradis Artificiels”. Obstinate doom is the weighty backdrop. Echoing vocals from a lady who sounds like she’s floating in and out of the clouds above present an eerie atmosphere. It all slows down, the drum beats ominously and the Mammoth Bastards come crashing back with a monolithic riff – all those comparisons with other bands become valid. The lady’s lofty and angelic tones sound eerie as they drift along in the cosmos but they go away again as the cosmic winds whistle and the persistent riff continues. Following this journey through the winds of time and space is “Slave Moon”. This 10 minute track is more attritional, less magnetic if I’m honest, but cannot be denied as a hypnotic, forceful and slowly progressing piece of doom. There is a shift about six minutes in but it doesn’t match up to the strange and alluring psychedelia I’d heard on “Les Paradis Artificiels”. We do take off into mysterious outerlands at the end but it’s now time for the Mammoth Bastards’ mammoth “Nachthexen”. This carries on where “Les Paradis Artificiels” left off. After a hypnotic intro, crashing doom follows. It is invaded by a haunting and hypnotic chorus, before muddily and harshly progressing to who knows where. The Space Ritual winds blow through the dark and trudging doom. The pace picks up and spreads out – it’s well managed. We’re midway though and it’s like a relentless train journey through the endless Russian steppes. The problem here is that the relentless journey doesn’t take you to other places. It takes you to the same place. But after 18 minutes this changes and the Mammoth Bastards gallop off in another direction to the accompaniment of a colourfully suggestive guitar solo. But this all takes off for me as cosmic interference and distortions enter the fray after 23 minutes. We’re in a mysterious dark corner of space. The combined distorted guitar sound and whistling wind create a cold and awesome atmosphere. For me this excursion could have lasted longer. Instead we are taken back to the fiery doom which sludgily takes us to an inconclusive end.
The doom’s fine without being exceptional but what made this album remarkable for me were the journeys into space and the representation of voids and chimerical images from the cosmos.
(7.5 / 10 Andrew Doherty)