I’ve extolled the many benevolent blessings of the blog inbox before; there’s no tool quite like it for discovering new music. Sure, there’s a lot of chaff that gets sent to us but for those with the keen eye (and the password), there are plenty of gems hiding among the masses of mediocrity. Case in point: Mammoth from Los Angeles. These guys wrote to us not more than few days ago and I’m already completely hooked on their upcoming release, Deviations (October 21st). It’s an expert mix of progressive rock, jazz and groove that transcends the “fusion” moniker that has become cheap in the recent few years. Instead of relying on pointless experimentation and impotent technicality, Deviations is all class. It chooses its blows carefully, to make sure that the many tricks in its sleeve remain fresh and engaging.
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“Entanglements” is the only track you can stream right now (although we’ll be changing that very soon, with a premiere later in the week) but boy, is it more than a handful. From the scale runs of the beginning, through the heavier moments which follow and all the way to the groove section hiding near the end of the track, “Entanglements” is everything that there’s to love about progressive metal/rock. Some of the compositions will leave your jaw on the floor but they never overbear or overstay their welcome, interspersed with enough emotion and lightheartedness to keep us intrigued. Especially worth noting are the amazingly punctual and erudite drums, gracing even the most hectic of segments with a sense of continuity and texture.
The rest of the album either builds up on these key ideas or breaks them down, enhancing them with all sorts of outside influences. “The Acclimation of Sedation” for example is a more direct approach to rhythm and structure, with a dominating bass that should bring a smile to your lips. The track is sweet, hinting at some nu-prog influences but the bass reminds us more of Jonas Reingold of The Flower Kings and Karmakanic, with its nostalgic and smooth approach. These vibes are further enhanced by an insanely competent guitar solo which dominates the middle of the track, backed by Kevin Moore like synths for accompaniment.
Overall, there’s nothing left but to hope that these guys achieve the wide-spread acclaim which their music deserves. In this age of tired cliches and progressive extravagance, these kind of fresh approaches to experimentation and innovation are desperately needed. Mammoth are poised to make good on their promises and we’re here to help them out. Head on over to their Bandcamp and pre-order their album if you’re a fan of technical, well played music with a huge dollop of feel and accessibility. You won’t regret it!