Feb 26, 2012

Mother of God – Forging a New Path ...

Part of my “Sludge Swamp Legacy” series, Mother of God is an interesting little beast that flaunted one thing at first but turned out to be quite another when I got down to it. This Swedish band displayed a flair for hyper-charged stoner rock when I first took a look, but the EP has so much more doom in it than I first surmised.  No matter, I like surprises as much as the next dude.

Mother of God play hard-hitting, to-the-point yet never by-the-numbers stoner doom.  How that plays out is as thus: with a good vocal range overlaid on top of fat guitars, thunderous bass, pounding drums and kicking off nice stoner grooves.  Add to that a healthy dose of doom, music representative in its feel and “color” the album cover, and vocals that alternate between the doomier and stoner rockier varieties, and you get the gist of Mother of God.  Only problem is, they don’t really offer much more than that.

The first track is “Four Wanderers” which has all the trappings of a stoner rock stomper with the slightest bit of doom influence: the band throws a bombastic, grooving, hard-hitting riff our way and keep revisiting it.  The refrain sections are more atmospheric, emphasized by drums and riding guitars, but the hard and fast sections hit like a mack truck and the band plays around with the main riff enough times to display diversity with just a singular riff.  Then comes “Ancient Tracks”, an interesting churning track. 

It’s basically centered around a grooving, churning, clenched-teeth riff that drones onwards, and is about, as the song repeatedly reminds us, “the war machine.”  It has a nice wah-wah solo two-thirds through it, but it’s where the weakness of the band starts to show – the track just can’t keep me interested enough to get me hooked to the music.  I get lost and then I get bored and switch to the next one.

“Blind Monkey” is when the band has a psych rock moment and conjure up a slow-burning, low-tempo groove with soaring vocals (often accompanied by crooning backing vocals too) and the bass-driven track simply moves on until the three-minute mark, after which, the band decides to kick things up a notch.  Some nice guitarwork throughout, subtle licks first in the background jumping to the foreground and all.  I don’t know, it’s hard to find fault, it’s just that I can’t find myself getting over-excited.  Something, some crucial part is missing.
The EP comes to a close with “Into the Unknown” which is basically more of what came before.  Grooves, stoner tones, slightest bit of (decidedly of the Swedish tradition on this particular track) doom influence, nice licks of guitar, good base and adequate drumming.  That’s really all I can say.  The band stomps, grooves, rises, falls, screams, rushes, but it all just feels very, very underwhelming – a lot more of an underwhelming song than it should be with the grooves thrown our way, but it is what it is.  I mean hell, I find myself trying to come up with a way to apologize because I can’t like this.

And there’s the problem I’ve had with these guys: the music itself isn’t bad, in fact, it’s very very good, but the EP is one of those efforts where you can’t find anything wrong, it’s just that it’s not quite right.  It’s one of those.  Hence, points for effort and potential, but in the six months I’ve had this EP, never once have I had even a remote thought of giving it a spin, except for the purposes of this review.  So yeah, far from essential, yet not exactly bad.  7/10.

Words:Sarp Esin

Mother Of God Facebook

1 comment :

  1. They recently signed with Small Stone Records and are working on a follow up.


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