Mammoth Weed Wizard Bastard - Y Proffwyd Dwyll album review

Spaced-up sledgehammer doom from North Wales – with a seductive secret weapon.

Mammoth Weed Wizard Bastard - Y Proffwyd Dwyll album cover

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There seems to be something deep and magical afoot in the hills and forests of North Wales. After the mindblowing recent Cult Of Free Love album, the magnificently-named MWWB weigh in with a ferocious behemoth that could crystalise the genre experts like to call ‘doom’.

The follow-up to last year’s Noeth Ac Anoeth debut (and second in a trilogy) sees the band further honing the colossal monolithic riffs which guitarists Paul Michael Davies and Wez Leon, bassist Jessica Ball and drummer James Carrington heave onto the operating table like Godzilla’s radioactive schlong then electrocute with synthesisers inspired by Hawkwind and John Carpenter.

It’s a glorious noise, sometimes recalling Magma’s dark power (even following a concept based around false prophets), but the secret weapon comes in Jessica’s spectrally powerful voice, which drifts like malevolent ectoplasm on the title track (on which she also plays cello with chilling effect), possesses the King Kong testicle churn of Osirian and soars like a shoegaze wet dream on Cithuula. In such a bloke-dominated musical form, the new dimensions her presence brings actually triples the band’s power; a frightening proposition indeed, but also a world-beating one.

Kris Needs

Kris Needs is a British journalist and author, known for writings on music from the 1970s onwards. Previously secretary of the Mott The Hoople fan club, he became editor of ZigZag in 1977 and has written biographies of stars including Primal Scream, Joe Strummer and Keith Richards. He's also written for MOJO, Record Collector, Classic Rock, Prog, Electronic Sound, Vive Le Rock and Shindig!