Emerging from the darkside to voraciously and increasingly beckon attention, Mama Doom released stunning debut album, From Blue to Bone, in 2018 to lusty acclaim. Now the US rockers have unveiled its successor, a purveyor of a darkness where beauty and the eldritch play.
Emerging in 2016, Newburgh, New York hailing Mama Doom cast a sound bred in the blood and minacious aspects of blues, doom, psych rock and heavy metal. As proven by their previous album and an earlier EP, it makes for a compelling incitement which has been taken to a new landscape of adventure and impact within Ash Bone Skin N Stone.
Between full-lengths, the band has become a trio and replaced carnally bred guitars with the haunting intimation of keys. Ravenous riffs have made way for electronic eeriness yet the band’s sound is as imposing and threatening as ever through the feral and manipulative bass of Chuckie Rumbles and the invasive beats of Smak. Equally the ethereal call of that previous presence, courtesy of the siren vocals of D. Lolli has now escalated through her breath and keys to become an even greater seduction that infests senses, imagination and psyche alike. Like an aural fusion of Midsommar, The Blair Witch Project, and the Wicker Man, it is a sound which is a minacious glamour; sonic occultism borne of prime rock ‘n’ roll.
Ash Bone Skin N Stone opens with Batshit Crazy, a proposal which sums up the album and the alluring presence of D. Lolli as well as the rhythmic devilry of her companions alongside. The opener immediately looms in ears, keys ominously tempting across trouble brewing rhythms. D. Lolli’s vocals similarly are a mix of warm persuasion and dark implication, drawing on the mesmeric air of her keys and the suspicion loaded manipulatively cunning bass groove within while evolution in the song only brews greater charm and fear; a declaration of intent and deed which already had us hooked.
The following Vodka, calmly swings in, Rumbles’ bass a knowing coaxing soon aligned to the infection crafted beats of Smak and the equally compelling call of D. Lolli. Its weave of occult, doom and psych rock cradled and lured the imagination, an initiation into the track’s dark heart presided over by those ever captivating tones. Gently rapturous with hints of shamanic nagging, it makes way for the intense call of Blood Moon. Again the siren quality of voice and presence set by the band’s High Priestess drew ears and imagination into a web of tenebrific tempting and moments of manipulative rock ‘n’ roll within a sanguineous serenade.
The glorious Indigo is next up and soon grips favourite track moment with its infectious stroll and disquieting seduction. It is simplicity and richness of craft united, a description as much applying to the band’s shift in sound, and an unearthly evocation of temptation setting the senses and appetite up for the following and far more nefarious Oh, Lucifer. Tension and drama soaks its proposal and lament, a hint of mischief and accusation which frequents the band’s darkness adding to the creative theatre that consumed thought and ignited the senses.
Werewolf howls at the moon and pleasure with rhythmic predation and vocal beguiling, it another slice of primal rock ‘n’ roll cast in a cauldron of Devil fired flavours while Slither from its initial seductive welcome soon crawls over the senses with a primal and venomously sculpted web of sound and enterprise. Yet again D. Lolli in voice and synth wraps the menace and peril in attraction and fascination, truly a siren drawing attention upon the keen rocks of craft and imagination.
The album closes up with Cherry, a conjuration of sinful rock ‘n’ roll and devilish immorality drawing the listener in movement and thought into infernal temptation. It is a glorious end to one sensational encounter, a release which sees its striking predecessor shrinking into its own impressive shadows and forge Mama Doom as one of the most irresistible incitements around right now.
Ash Bone Skin N Stone is out now digitally and on CD and vinyl via Majestic Mountain Records; available @ https://majesticmountainrecords.bigcartel.com/product/mama-doom and https://mama-doom.bandcamp.com/
Pete RingMaster 29/07/2021
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