Mammoth Weed Wizard Bastard open the split, with 23 minutes of their enchanting doom.
This is the band’s first material since their extremely enjoyable 2016 album Y Proffwyd Dwyll, and both of the tracks on this split are longer than any on that release.
Mammoth Weed Wizard Bastard combine the underworld grime and sludge of doom into their music, with angelic, ethereal vocals that are so achingly beautiful in places that it can be enough to steal your breath. The singer has a strong presence all of her own, and although it’s natural that she acts as a focal point when listening to these songs, the music is equally forceful and also demands your attention. The latter works in a different way, of course; whereas the former uses a soft caress to let you know it’s there, the latter uses a sledgehammer.
These two songs are just as compelling and engaging as anything they have previously released, more so in fact; Mammoth Weed Wizard Bastard keep getting better. Both of these songs unfold with a glacial intensity and a rich, melodic, emotive core that’s effortlessly approachable.
Few bands could probably follow that, but Slomatics are one of them. Their side of the split – three songs, 21 minutes – complements the first; similar enough in style to work with rather than against Mammoth Weed Wizard Bastard, but different enough to obviously be a separate band with an individual personality and character. The three songs here are just as enjoyable, captivating, and compelling as Mammoth Weed Wizard Bastard’s two.
The middle song – Silver Ships into the Future – is an ambient piano-led interlude of sorts, nestled between the two equal-length eight-minute behemoths that are the band’s other contributions. As an interlude though it’s definitely not a throwaway track and it adds a surprising amount to the wider package.
The actual songs continue the hugely successful style of Future Echo Returns, with big warm melodies and heavy distorted guitars that may be crushing, but don’t obscure the firmly-beating emotive heart of the band. Slomatics use their rich melodies and colourful synths well to provide the listener with a textured feast to gorge on.
This is a rare split in that you can almost imagine it being a project of two halves by just one band. After the first half, it’s almost like the band just shifted style and brought in a different singer. The two halves work together so well that this seems eminently reasonable – especially as the singer of Mammoth Weed Wizard Bastard seems to guest on the last Slomatics song too. However, despite their similarities and their complementary natures, it’s also great that this actually is, obviously, two different bands, replete with all manner of individual markings, nuanced deliveries, and personality quirks.
Such a strong split, it’s just silly. You must get this.
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