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Saturday, 11 February 2017

A View From The Back Of The Room: Mammoth Weed Wizard Bastard, Lacertilia, Revival

Mammoth Weed Wizard Bastard, Lacertilia, Revival, Clwb Ifor Bach

This was a show I had been looking forward to, Mammoth Weed Wizard Bastard's debut album was one of the heaviest gems of last year so being able to see them live in a small venue was going to be an experience to say the least. Heading into the venue we discovered the show had a curfew of 10pm meaning that the three bands playing were not going to have much time to make a mark.

Still in the venue and openers Revival (8) were already set up and ready to go, striaght out of Blackwood this hideously young band brought some major riffs in the first few minutes of their set, with a sound akin to Down packed with huge grooves and some BLS/Pantera style soloing, Revival were keenly aware of the history of metal borrowing from late 80's early 90's American metal even throwing in a classic metal gallop on Season Of The Witch which came after the filthy opener Madness. The band got those that turned up early thoroughly warmed up with fans and the two next bands all throwing the horns for these young rockers. Insanity got everything heavier with a bass driven riff and yet more classic flavours and as their set reached it's apex. For a band so young they are extremely talented musicians and give a very engaging and heavy live show. Expect big things, very impressive.

Next up then were a band we are no strangers to here at MoM towers, the hard to define heavy rockers Lacertilia (8) took to the stage with multiple drug fuelled maladies. It's been a while since I've seen them but they are still as electric live than ever, cranking out psychedelic riffs with a grinding distortion, the bass was little all consuming for the set, taking over the PA a little but with the vibrations rattling through your skull the songs were as disorientating as you'd expect from this stoner influenced Welsh mob. The between song areas are still as chaotic but it's a focused chaos that brings you along for the ride and makes you become part of the gang as their interplay lets you warm to them. I've always said that for fans of early-Orange Goblin and those raised on a diet of Sabbath and Hawkwind, Lacertilia are doing it how it used to be done, so Amen to that!

After the longest set up of the night (keyboards are intricate instruments) the opening chord was played and then, Ow... while Gojira claim to have the heaviest matter in the universe I think North Wales experimental doom band Mammoth Weed Wizard Bastard (9) have a claim to that throne. Opening the set with possibly one of the most bowel-shakingly heavy, hypnotic riffs I've heard in long time they immediately instil a sense of ominous dread from the first 30 seconds. A veritable wall of noise the only melodies are the sweet harmonic vocals of Jessica Ball who's keyboard too adds to the discordant abject heaviness filled with SFX and retro electronic sounds of Moogs.

Now I've seen Electric Wizard and I didn't think many bands could be that loud but MWWB manage it with their sound being constantly perfected throughout the gig not a single monstrous riff, swirling synth, jaw rattling bass line or sparse drum hit was missed allowing the band to conjure a sound that I can only describe as cacophonous misery as dense as concrete block and twice as effective to split the skull with. At only 45 minutes and the band having prog level length to their songs there was little time for chit chat but this proved an ideal scenario as each track bled into another creating a symphony of doom that saw most of the crowd engage in synchronised head banging.

All three Welsh bands were an aural treat that was more powerful than any herb available, they all expanded the mind, banged the head and gave everyone there good vibes. The entire night was a cosmic unifying force of substance over style and all the better for it. If you can make any of the OHHMS & MMWB shows on the tour then go as your ears will bleed for weeks, but ladies and gents that' a good thing.

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