Get Prep’d: The Quaternary Period
In this, the fourth edition of Get Prep’d, we return to induct you into the hall of wisdom, just in time for new releases from Mammoth Storm, Sofy Major and Intronaut.
Swedish doom merchants Mammoth Storm have been stomping around since 2012 but are yet to release a full length album; 2015 will see that change with the release of Fornjot on November 6th. Resident TovH beast Smohlg alerted me to this Scandinavian trio last year following the release of their two-track but two-tonne EP Rite Of Ascension, and I’ve been riding on the back of that 25 minute behemoth ever since. You can go pick it up for the utterly ridiculous fee of name your price, right here. So go and do that now. Go on.
Alright, now that you’ve just picked that up, apart from feeling swole as fuck, you can check out one of the new tracks they’ve just uploaded prior to the album release. I chose this one as it hooked me with its tuskiness first. The blend of the dense doomy riffs and the gruffly sung vocals really gel together well. I spent a minute trying to think of whose voice I could hear echoing in Daniel Arvidsson’s pipes and for some reason Troy Sanders’ earlier work with Mastodon kept coming up, I’m sure there are better comparisons but I think my mind rightly united them into the overall Mammut cohort. Have a listen below and let me get out of here before Joe truncates my time here for all these terrible elephant references. – Lacertilian.
The story behind Sofy Major’s second album, Idolize is one that will certainly make you appreciate what this noise rock trio from France had to go through in order to create it. In the fall of 2012, the band decided to tour North America. In addition to that, they squared away some time to record a new album with Andrew Schneider at Translator Audio studio in Brooklyn, NY. Shortly after arriving in New York to begin recording, they were greeted by Hurricane Sandy which destroyed the studio they were supposed to record in and all their gear in one fell swoop. With no gear and no place to record, Schneider and the band vowed to make the record by finding another studio and borrowing gear from those who were kind enough to provide it. The entire story is told in a very well done documentary called Sofy Major – Buckets, Curtains & More Noise. Without knowing any of that, you’d think that Idolize was recorded under normal circumstances. The end result is an album that sounds like Unsane meets Queen of The Stone Age.
Fast forward to 2015 and Sofy Major are about to release their third album entitled Waste. If the single “We See Fire” is any indication, the band have improved upon the elements that make Idolize such a good noise rock record. All the hallmarks are there; immaculate sounding cardboard box drums, clanking bass lines, thick and fuzzy guitars and a vocal delivery that shouts and screams at the same time. The video for “We See Fire” is a compilation of the world’s politicians and scum of the earth throwing punches at each other over who knows what and is bound to be the best thing you’ll see all day, possibly all week. The song is simple yet catchy with a strong Unsane and Helmet influence that will easily get stuck inside your head after just one listen. Waste – Out October 30th on Solar Flare Records – Ron Deuce
It’s likely that many of you have slept on Intronaut due to some of the genre appellations commonly affixed to them. Yes, the Los Angeles quartet dabbles in post/experimental metal, but the group’s lively output is far greater than those specific subgenres may imply. Over the course of their 11 years as a band, the group has constantly evolved, always working from a semi-solid sludge bass but continually exploring new corners of extreme music with each subsequent release. Debut album Void is by far the group’s most extreme album, sounding like a step-child of the raw, temperamental sludge spawned from the backwater swamps of the Savannah scene. However, after original guitarist/vocalist Leon del Muerte left the group to focus on Murder Construct, replacement axeman/vocalist Dave Timnick brought with him more progressive flourishes that better complemented chief songwriter Sacha Dunable’s own style. This allowed sophomore album Prehistoricisms to explore some very strange and psychedelic areas. Techniques like pick-scrapes, tapping, extended progressive passages, and psychedelic chords would see further refinement on Valley of Smoke, but the guitars themselves are only a part of the story. Joe Lester’s bass is quite often the focal point of each song as he taps and slaps along to give each tune a grounded, earthy tone; this rhythmic approach is augmented by the exceptionally tasteful Danny Walker, a man who knows precisely how to play to suit every song, blasting along in double-bass, laying a thick groove, or jamming a polyrhythm only when appropriate.
Interestingly, Habitual Levitations found the band drifting further from a heavier sound into more progressive rock territory. This new direction was most audible in Sacha Dunable’s usage of almost solely clean vocals on the album. However, the two tracks from The Last Direction of Things seem to indicate a return to form of the more extreme approach, with the vocals and instruments all bringing the heavy. I’m curious to see if the whole thing will be true to Dunable’s words that this album will be quite a bit more brutal than Habitual Levitations. I suppose we’ll find out on November 13 when Century Media releases The Last Direction of Things. – W.