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Mammoth Caravan – Ice Cold Oblivion

Mammoth Caravan
Ice Cold Oblivion
by Gary Hernandez at 13 February 2023, 5:33 PM

There are so many metal bands that herald the great mammoth in their moniker. There’s MAMMOTH MAMMOTH from Australia; ACID MAMMOTH from Greece (with an album entitled “Caravan”); and then there’s just plain MAMMOTH from Brazil. And now we have MAMMOTH CARAVAN a Sludge Doom trio from Little Rock, Arkansas, in the US. On February 25 they release their debut album, “Ice Cold Oblivion.” In keeping with their namesake, it is a fully loaded EP with six tracks weighing in at 39 minutes. Not sure why anyone is insisting it is an EP and not an LP, but okay.

As all good debut albums should, track one of “Ice Cold Oblivion” is the title track. It kicks off with a 70’s sci-fi synth intro. At the 40 second mark, the synth gets swept away by a tidal wave of sludge and the fun begins. The production values are but light so the bottom isn’t as full South as you might expect, but you can tell the intention is there. Your subwoofers, at least, will be grateful for being spared. Front vocals are raw and gravelly; backing vocals are clean, though a bit washed out. Track two, “Nomad,” acquaints us further with the band’s arsenal with some chainsaw riffage and a stellar lead solo. The track also features Mat Johnson, bassist from STONE CRUSHER.

Petroglyphs” first showcases the band’s mellow, transcendental abilities with a Psych intro and outro which also serve to sandwich a sideways rhythm assault. “Megafauna,” track four, gets way sludgy but at a stampede pace. Probably my favorite track on the album. Taking up the boots of lead march, “Periglacial” is the Doomiest track of the set. Brandon Ringo opts for clean witchy vocals, sonorous and winding, reminiscent of Jerry Lovett (CULT OF SORROW). Closing the album is the mega-sized “Frostbite.” This song tells the story of a wayward baby mammoth that gets hunted by a blood hungry nomad. (They missed the trick to name the song “Lyuba” after the actual frozen baby mammoth found in Russia back in 2007). Ringo says, “the song is our favorite to play live and the one I’m most proud of on ‘Ice Cold Oblivion’; and it really channels a heavy ELECTRIC WIZARD or EYEHATEGOD-esque boogie.” This track has everything from great vocal pilings to nasty lead eruptions to fat, fat sludgy rhythm and riffs. If I didn’t already to commit to “Periglacial,” this would be my fav.

Altogether, “Ice Cold Oblivion” is a solid debut for a little band from Little Rock. Not out of park original on the band name, but very fitting for their vibe, so fuck it. MAMMOTH CARAVAN joins the growing Southwest Doom tradition in the US. Definitely a debut to check out.

Songwriting: 6
Musicianship: 7
Memorability: 7
Production: 6

3 Star Rating

1. Ice Cold Oblivion
2. Nomad (feat. Mat Johnson)
3. Petroglyphs
4. Megafauna
5. Periglacial
6. Frostbite
Robert Warner – Drums
Evan Swift – Guitars
Brandon Ringo – Vocals, Bass
Record Label: Clawhammer PR


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