Welsh language psychedelic doom, now that’s something I can get behind. Over the last few years, Mammoth Weed Wizard Bastard have emerged as one of the foremost protagonists of this genre, even though they used all of the best words in their moniker. As a proud Welshman, I have no idea what the title album means but I believe Yn Ol I Annwn translates as back to annoy, but if anything that couldn’t be further from the truth, as this album is like a warm, metal embrace. A doom laden cwtch if you will.
The luscious soundscapes that complement the gargantuan riffs are all brought together by the velvety tones of singer Jessica Ball. The album opens on a jarring uneasy feel with Tralfamadore, two minutes of 80’s synth, which could easily pass as an ode to John Carpenter. A huge doomy riff opens The Spaceships Of Ezekiel competing with Ball’s divine vocals for supremacy. Fata Morgana builds nicely into a very satisfying head banger, before we get an interlude, Du bist jetzt nicht in der Zukunft, that’s reminiscent of the opening track and a tune which gives the whole album a soundtrack feel and offers another opportunity to indulge in Ball’s beautiful vocals, this time layered over keyboard and violin. It’s back to business with the album’s title track, a meat and potatoes affair which they do so well. I’m guessing you’ve never had you head crushed in a vice for thirteen and a half minutes but that’s exactly what Katyusha does too you and being crushed never felt so good. If there’s one song on the album that represents its overall “feel”, then it might just be The Majestic Clockwork. And devastating doom outing finishes with Five Days In The Abyss, which is exactly what you need after MMWB have pounded your head in.
Mammoth Weed Wizard Bastard take doom into new territory and have created a record for the ages that doubles as a soundtrack for an, as yet, unmade science fiction saga. Prepare to embark on an epic journey....Chris Andrews