Monday 24 June 2019

Mammoth Storm - Alruna (Album Review)

Release date: June 28th 2019. Label: Argonauta Records. Format: CD/DD/Vinyl

Alruna – Tracklisting

1. Giants
2. Alruna
3. Shores of the Dead
4. Raven Void
5. Atra Mors


Daniel Arvidsson - Bass, Vocals
Christer Ström - Guitars
Emil Ahlman - Drums, Organ


Mammoth Storm new album Alruna sees the Swedish riffsters return with a progressive and heavier psychedelic sound. The music is more grounded compared to previous releases as the band create a gloomier and heavier atmosphere.

First song – Giants – is a gloomy song that opens with a straight forward Doom/Stoner Metal riff before exploding into a full-on Sludge Metal groove with elements of Post-Metal based sounds with a Psychedelic Rock/Metal grizzled vibe settles everything down. The vocals from Daniel have a Hardcore feel to them but they’re easy to understand and sung with complete conviction. The music feels inspired by CONAN in places but Mammoth Storm operate by their own heavy destructive rules and this song ends up being a compelling and exciting journey from start to finish.

Second song – Alruna – starts off very quietly and slowly with Mammoth Storm playing a subdued Post-Doom/Post-Rock style of music before allowing the heavy atmospheric guitars take the lead and offer a more commanding presence. The psychedelic and heavy post-metallic sounds fully come alive when Daniel’s vocals appear and Mammoth Storm play a thunderous style of Sludge, Doom and Stoner Metal for one of the standout songs on the album. The lyrics are superb and allows the band to tell an intense and powerful story that matches the music perfectly well.

Third song – Shores Of The Dead – is a deeply unflinching slice of Doom/Stoner/Sludge Metal spliced with a world weary cosmic/psychedelic sound. The vocals and lyrics feel more personal compared to the other songs held on the album. This is perhaps the heaviest song contained on Alruna and that’s down to Mammoth Storm fully embracing their Doom Metal persona on this song. The band leave no stone unturned in creating a deeply emotional song.

The final two songs - Raven Void and Atra Mors – sees Mammoth Storm playing almost eighteen minutes of heavy Post-Doom/Stoner Metal grooves with the band focusing more on their Psychedelic riffs than ever before. Though, that’s my humble opinion. Others may think differently. I enjoyed the different styles of music that Mammoth Storm play on these final songs. As it’s quite different to the earlier songs. The vocals are quite majestic and ferocious at the same time especially on Raven Void.

The instrumental work is an absolute joy to hear. The whole atmosphere of the album is quite eerie and challenging to listen to as Mammoth Storm never shy away from playing brutal and highly atmospheric sounds. The production is first rate and this allows Mammoth Storm to play some of the heaviest music of their career so far.

Mammoth Storm have taken a lot of creative risks with this album and the results are glorious and allows this album to be ranked as one of the best Doom/Sludge/Stoner Metal albums of the year.

It’s seriously that good.

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to Mona at All Noir PR for the promo. Alruna will be available to buy on CD/DD/Vinyl via ArgonautaRecords from June 28th 2019.