Monday 9 April 2018

Tunguska Mammoth - Breathless (Album Review)

Release date: May 11th 2018. Label: Deathbound Records. Format: CD/DD

Breathless – Tracklisting

2.Kings And Queens
4.The Yellow Sign
5.New Sun
6.Le Vent
7.Lily (feat. Jared Collins)
8.We are the Night


Maxime Bellerose: Vocals/Guitar
Pierre-Hugues Rondeau: Drums
Mathieu Savage: Guitar
Paolo Di Stefano: Bass


Breathless is Tunguska Mammoth’s first album in almost 5 years. The band have created a brutally heavy and engaging affair that takes influence from High On Fire, Mastodon and even Torche at times. The mood is quite upbeat with heavy sludgy pop grooves appearing from the opening track – Breathless.

Breathless is a mixture of Progressive Sludge and Stoner Metal sounds with a gritty atmosphere being played from the start. The vocals from Maxime are a mixture of 90s Stoner Metal but with an alternative feel to them. The music is driven along by the heavy bass of Paolo and superb drumming from Pierre-Hugues. This is a different band that I encountered on their debut album back in 2013. As the music was more frantic and perhaps more Punk driven. Breathless is a major step from their debut album as Tunguska Mammoth have a more angry psychedelic flair.

Tunguska Mammoth carry on the excellent work on songs such as Kings And Queens, Phénix, Yellow Sign, Le Vent, Lily and We Are The Night. As the album drifts onto heavier sounds and sees Tunguska Mammoth venture further into the Progressive Rock/Metal world. Maybe they take too much influence from Mastodon at times but I admire how they bring the many different musical elements together for a thrilling album that never outstays it’s welcome.

The lyrics are good for the most part of the album. Though it’s the music that keeps you entertained. The powerful vocals have a constant threat and presence around them. With Mastodon firmly staying in the realm of commercial hard rock/heavy metal for the foreseeable future, it’s good to fully hear and experience an album that’s not afraid to unleash the heavy sounds whilst offering a few poppier moments along the way.

Breathless may take you a few listens to fully appreciate though that’s one of the albums strengths. As Breathless keeps bringing you back for more hard-hitting sounds. You may actually miss some great riffs on your first listen and then discover them on your 3rd or 4th listen of the album. I know I did. So take your time with this album and you’ll be rewarded with a deeply satisfying experience.

The production is very good with the album having a distinctive raw sound that allows Tunguska Mammoth to play their music at very loud levels. I even put my volume down on my MP3 Player on certain parts of the album. So Breathless receives top marks in the VOLUME DEPARTMENT.

It’s good to have Tunguska Mammoth after a long time away. Breathless is a superior slice of hard rocking Sludge/Stoner Metal that contains a few hidden surprises along the way.

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to Olivier at Deathbound Records for the promo. Breathless will be available to buy on CD/DD via Deathbound Records from May 11th 2018.