I’m forever trying to expand my music tastes. Sometimes successfully, sometimes not. I might go on a week long binge of Avant-Garde Opera only to find one that really sticks (Check out Le Grand Macabre by György Ligeti). Alas sometimes the many genres I wade through have a staying power. A somewhat recent pair would be Prog Rock and Heavy Psych. These genres represents the forerunners of modern Metal as we know it and as such I’ve been paying them my dues.
Forgetting those and focusing on a partner and indeed old genre Doom Metal come the psychedelic wizards Acid Mammoth from Greece. They themselves are on the Heavy Psych Sounds label, their formation came in 2015 and this was followed in 2017 by their debut self-titled full length. The album boasted some lengthy numbers and a clocking in time of almost an hour. Yet Acid Mammoth bid to ditch the breach of the ten-minute mark in their sophomore 2020 full length work Under Acid Hoof. Wise decision? Let us see.
Opener Them! kicks off with huge fuzzy riffs torn straight from the fretboard of Iommi and thus enters the haunting and indeed soaring vocals. Their clean delivery spawning a sort of Electric Wizard sound. Blending into one with the introductory number comes Tree Of Woe, again the riffs are big but part way through the over nine minute track much of the guitar work becomes a touch standard and a bit too heavy on the worship side. None the less it’s a catchy tune and adds to the memorability of the record. Tusks Of Doom is a relatively forgettable affair however and sadly marks the lull and downfall of the album.
Jack The Riffer might have a humorous title but perhaps its funniest feature is its lack of innovative riffs. For a song named as such one would expect the boat to be launched out, instead more of the same cookie cutter Doom riffs. What started as something quite promising quickly declines into tiresome generic Doom. Finally we come to the titular closer Under Acid Hoof. Again a lack of experimentation leads to standard Doom that lacks body and soul. It’s a real shame as I don’t hate the sound of this record it just could be so much more than it is.
Perhaps one of the biggest perks to Under Acid Hoof is its length, so in answer to my prior question, cutting the longer songs was a great idea. At around thirty five minutes the album is short and sharp. This is of course a boon because the music is so atypical. Maybe I’m missing something, maybe I’m expecting too much? Yet when I hear the likes of Green Lung or the sadly departed Kroh I know that there is better Doom out there. Indeed some of the best Doom I’ve heard in a long time has been from smaller artists. Acid Mammoth however, I just don’t get it, perhaps to the more seasoned Doom listener this might have more appeal.
(5/10 George Caley)