MAMMOTHER – Devotion Lost


Mammothor have shared the stage with artists such as Living Colour, Ted Nugent, Sponge, Prong, Fuel, Saving Abel, and Hinder. Blending heavy metal and classic rock, Mammothor often mixes in elements of blues and fusion. Travis Lowell fronts the group with powerful and versatile vocals. Berklee graduate Josh Johnson studied with guitar shred legend Joe Stump while Dana Sharpton has studied with virtuoso guitarist Greg Howe. The dynamic and steady drums of Nick Raby fill out the band’s eclectic sound. Devotion Lost is their new album, recorded at New Alliance Studios by Kyle Paradis, and mastered at Mastersuite by Jay Frigoletto.

Singer Travis Lowell proves to be no fluke on Mammothor’s latest, with a charismatic delivery that compliments some complex, and some more simple arrangements that move forward without getting too far from their first recording. This is a band you might want to watch for as 2017 cooks up with hard prog rock coming out of the woodwork. It is progressive in the sense that it pulsates forward, rather than stays put from the last one. They’re already progressive, but much more rooted in rock and metal, with some even darker, more death metal inspired in places. That’s not a bad thing in their case, as the vocals often call for that effect, and he does it well.

If “Howling Baying Jackal” doesn’t knock you off your feet, then nothing on this disc will. That is not to call it the best track, but you have got to start somewhere, and it’s simply one of the stronger tracks, of which there really are no clunkers. It’s hard to open with that right jam to set everything up, and a truly great album has no weak spots, so that can make it even more difficult but they nailed this as good as they could. And it’s followed by a more mainstream sounding track on “Skin” without letting any metal guards down. You should already be tapping your toe and scratching your head as to how these two tracks come at you in full force.

It reminds of bands around both sides of the pond now like Rival Sons and Inglorious. Yet there is a darker side that knocks off all the gloss those bands come with, and the production also reflects that harder edge. These two are met with a guitar instrumental which goes into the over the top “Faith Healer” which for my money rivals anything on the disc. This is an almost hard rock radio friendly version of the band. But not the only one, as there are a few others that meet this standard. However, this is one of the stand out songs for sure. There is plenty to like here if you’re into the more intense side of them, and you’ll love the guitar soloing.

More of the same is explored on “Shadows Of Oblivion” but with more death metal style vocals that somehow bring it down a notch with a lesser appealing sound. But once again if that is your cup of tea you will find the opposite values in it. The screaming is obviously not to my overall liking, but it’s also necessary to the music. And an attempt to blend all of their musical capabilities and inspirations into one song is reached on the terrific “Elusive Engineer” and it runs for best overall track, but could be the opposite depending on which side of them you like more. But as for talking of “radio” this is where they get closest to it. And it’s a cool song with loads of good classic rock appeal to it.

“This Is Not An Exit” comes in at just the right time to remind that after such a great effort, that it’s not over by any means. The guitars on this get into some of the tighter spots on the disc, as they don’t hog, but do dominate the whole song without somehow boring while at it. Hat’s off to the solos of lightning speed, which the vocals do make an effort to drown out but never totally smother it. And they get away with another stomper as “Generation Thief” blasts out a monster in the vocal sector. There isn’t much to describe without giving it completely away though. And the same goes for other moments like “Blood-Soaked Candy Heart” with its love story gone wrong subject matter.

But it also comes packed with greatness like the short but sweet bass interlude tracking to get to their Reprise of “Tyrannicide” which kicks things way back up before the wildly explorative sound of “Pillar Of Simeon” takes it all the way to the last note with pure moxie. This is where another chapter ends and hopefully another begins for Mammothor.


Brion Stephen