Mammoth Weed Wizard Bastard: Noeth Ac Anoeth

Indelicate intoxication with all the bases covered

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Their name might sound like laugh-out-loud stoner doom self-parody, but there’s no doubt this debut long-player from these Welsh doom newcomers sounds exactly as you’d expect a band with this name to sound: agonisingly fuzzed-out and bass-heavy, with few vocals to speak of and flailing skeleton drums buried deep under gas-cloud chug riffs.

There are fine lines to tread with this kind of tone-driven sludge, between spontaneity and aimlessness, hypnosis and monotony, and MWWB stagger and lurch between them like their titular entity. There’s much here that’s run-of-the-mill and over-familiar: the primeval chords of Conan rendered too sprightly, with some attempt at the Bong/13 Paranoias school of psychedelic disorientation, but MWWB’s burbles, squeaks and offbeat backing vocals sometimes seem a little tentative and arbitrary. However, the last eight minutes of closing half-hour jam caravan Nacht Hexen Master – ritualistic rhythms over a broken ethereal choir, followed by the album’s most resolute, hammering riff – has a real eccentric, triumphant heathen magic, which hopefully points the way to the future.

Chris Chantler

Chris has been writing about heavy metal since 2000, specialising in true/cult/epic/power/trad/NWOBHM and doom metal at now-defunct extreme music magazine Terrorizer. Since joining the Metal Hammer famileh in 2010 he developed a parallel career in kids' TV, winning a Writer's Guild of Great Britain Award for BBC1 series Little Howard's Big Question as well as writing episodes of Danger Mouse, Horrible Histories, Dennis & Gnasher Unleashed and The Furchester Hotel. His hobbies include drumming (slowly), exploring ancient woodland and watching ancient sitcoms.