Welsh outfit Mammoth Weed Wizard Bastard’s upward trajectory seems to know no boundaries at the moment. A visionary band, they set out on their quest to create a psychedelic, sci-fi trilogy that started with 2015’s “Noeth Ac Anoeth”, and 2017’s “Y Proffwyd Dwyll”. Punctuated with 2018’s spilt release with Slomatics, they have now arrived at the final chapter. This is an interesting time too as recent interest in the band has grown considerably and has included The Cure’s Robert Smith who employed their services at Meltdown. That’s the past though and we now need to explore the world that MWWB have now laid before us. The album title of “Yn Ol I Annwn” translates to “Return To The Underworld”.
The familiar greets us but not in a bad way. My first thought was of how distinct they’ve become. The first oozy Pink Floyd sounding electronic tones of “Tralfamadore” forming a circular flow that is a sweet siren call before atmospheric delights and chugging riffs abound on “The Spaceships Of Ezekiel”. There’s shades of classic Electric Wizard swathed in space rock with Jessica Ball’s smooth, heady vocals continuing to be a signature sound of the band. There is an obvious leap forward for them with a connection that while tight, produces music that is uplifting and expansive. Conan’s Chris Fielding is at the helm from a production point of view and there’s a rich depth that’s absorbing.
Eastern tones add a mystical quality on “Fata Morgana” while the use of cello on “Du Bist Jetzt Nicht In Der Zukunft” keeps bringing in new dimensions to their sound. Everything is complimentary while at the core lies some very mighty riffs. Muscles are flexed on drawn out epic pieces like the 13 minute “Katyusha” that lurks and paces towards an urgent climax. There’s almost a cinematic quality to these tracks before the trilogy comes to and end with “Five Days In The Abyss” which is swathed in melancholy tones.
Mammoth Weed Wizard Bastard are genre defying. There’s elements of space rock and doom but at its heart this is a band about so much more. This album shows a band rapidly maturing and showing a confidence that provides for a compelling listen that intrigues and takes the listener on a stellar journey.
(9/10 Johnny Zed)