Taking time out from lead guitar duties in goth metallers Draconian, there is the palpable sense within each aeonic moment of Mammoth Storm’s debut that this is a labour of love for bassist/vocalist Daniel Arvidsson.
Given its funereally paced, elephantine moroseness, it’s probably a good thing that such positivity is the only shaft of light within otherwise fathomless gloom, an elegy to a forgotten world and the gods that bestrode it.
The sonorous pummel is elevated throughout with moments of melodic melancholy – a holdover from Draconian perhaps – profound in the stirring introduction of Augurs Echo, or the oppressive thunderclouds of Fornjot, suddenly pierced by cosmic rays. Hekla, however, slows to a sometimes disengaging plod, while other tracks lack a certain sense of individuality to truly set them apart.
That said, Arvidsson’s passion imbues this crushing affair with enough spirit to see it through. Even if its relentless pounding isn’t quite enough to awaken the old gods, it will surely make them stir.