UNDER ACID HOOF 🦣🎸 ACID MAMMOTH
There are three letters that do NOT exist in OMGItsFLOOD's lexicon - those letters are C P T - he gets up in the wee hours of the morning to red-pill you:
That's where VfB heard Acid Mammoth for the 1st time
Acid Mammoth is a doom/stoner metal band from Athens, Greece, with two of their four members being a father/son guitarist duo. I had never even heard of this band before YouTube put this album in my recommendations today - and, quite frankly, I am not very familiar with a lot of European metal outside of the obvious thrash and death metal scenes - but I am very glad that I decided to give it a shot, because this was a very enjoyable experience.
It pretty much goes without saying that there is a massive amount of Black Sabbath influence on this record - that comes with the territory considering Sabbath pioneered the genre decades ago. The Babalis duo are not afraid to pound the listener with one hulking, fuzzy, slow-paced riff after another, and while for the most part the band does not fluctuate all too much in terms of tempo, they are able to keep things mostly fresh and not overly travel on charted waters. While there are some riffs that could be pulled straight from a Sabbath record or a Matt Pike-penned song (i.e. "Jack the Riffer"), the band keeps it interesting through atmosphere, earworm melodic phrases, and some epic lead passages. The band sprinkles in some psychedelic elements into some of the songwriting, with standout track "Tree of Woe" being a good example -- parts of songs almost are "trance-like" regarding the ambiance they create.
The drum performance fits the songs perfectly, not particularly flashy or technical but flashiness would pretty much kill any sort of ambiance in these doomy, lurching tracks. The mixing of the drums is probably the worst part of the production - the kick drum sounds okay, but the rest of the kit is buried under the wall of distorted guitars and bass, and sounds a bit thin. I was happy with the bass performance on this album; it, for the most part, was not flashy either and created a solid rhythm section with the drums in which the guitars could do their thing, but when the bass got its own time in the spotlight, it was a nice touch to the songs. The tone of the bass is great, distorted and chunky but retaining a degree of clarity that can sometimes get lost in overly fuzzy mixes.
The vocals are really interesting, at times sounding almost uncannily like Ozzy Osbourne, while also occasionally reminding me of Al Cisneros from Sleep in terms of timbre and delivery. I didn't pay much attention to the lyrical content while listening, but after reading the lyrics, I am largely unimpressed, as just seems to be pretty standard drudgery about witchcraft and Satan. This is not a massive detractor but it didn't really serve as a major benefactor, either. The vocals can also be washed under the waves of fuzz and distortion at times, though not quite to the extent of the drums. Lastly, the guitars came through with some really nice riffs, especially when they move up to higher registers. The leads are scarce but are more aimed at adding a grandiose sense of atmosphere to the songs instead of shredding or displaying technical wizardry. The tone is great for this kind of music - warm, fuzzy, overdriven as hell - and the guitars are upfront in the mix (a little bit too upfront).
This record is only 5 songs with a runtime of around 35 minutes, but honestly it left me pretty satiated, not really wanting anymore or less material as a general statement. While I do love "Tree of Woe" and its catchy, titanic riffs, the song would be just as good if the last two minutes were cut; "Tusks of Doom" and "Jack the Riffer" were very solid songs but didn't have the same impression on me as the songs that bookended them, and they sounded a little too cliche for me to fully appreciate them. The title track "Under Acid Hoof" is by far the best track on the record and was a phenomenal way to end the album, with the most creative and eclectic ideas presented here by Acid Mammoth. This band really sounds like they have cemented "their" sound, and while there are probably more "unique" stoner/doom bands out there, I am happy with this release and excited to see what they have in store for us in the next few years.