Santa Cruz's Mammatus were inspired by
for their massive and loud suite
Dragon of the Deep, a spiritual concept influenced by progressive and
folk music, whose first two parts dominated
Mammatus (Holy Mountain, 2006)
and whose third part appeared on
The Coast Explodes (Holy Mountain, 2007).
The first album opens with
The Righteous Path Through The Forest Of Old
that opens with a relentless instrumental sonata influenced by
vintage horror soundtracks before sinking in Black Sabbath-ian cliches
when the vocals enter.
The eight-minute appetizer Dragon Of The Deep Part One opens with
a rapid-fire jazzy guitar workout and ends with a cosmic droning crescendo.
Unfortunately, that tension is almost completely missing from the
22-minute Dragon Of The Deep Part Two, even after the band begins its
concerto of roaring cosmic glissandoes. In fact, the most enthralling section
boils down to a disjointed, dissonant guitar soundscape.
The brief indian raga The Outer Rim showed that there was another
influence at work, although minimized in this recording.
The second album was vastly inferior.
Dragon Of The Deep Part Three sounds like a lengthy leftover from
the previous album.
Pierce The Darkness and
The Coast Explodes are collages of trivial stereotypes of the genre.
Heady Mental (2013) was another transitional album.
The 17-minute Brain Train debuted a sort of progressive space-rock
that bridges Hawkwind and
Chrome, with a touch of
Deep Purple. At least this piece does not
Sparkling Waters (Spiritual Pajamas, 2015) turned back to a much lighter sound,
almost Zen in spirit, and anchored in repetitive minimalism.
The 22-minute Sparkling Waters Part One is 15 minutes of idyllic
spaced-out trance and eight minutes of manic, swirling guitar frenzy.
The 20-minute Sparkling Waters Part Two is even more somber and
evascent, even reminiscent of the cosmic tapestry of
Cluster (before the last five minutes of
The 15-minute The Elkhorn begins in aggressive mode but soon sinks
into a jelly of slow, transcendent sounds.
The contrast is even stronger in the 17-minute Ornia, that starts out
as tough and rough as the first album but then tiptoes for a long while
before the final outburst.
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