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Mangog – Mangog Awakens

Mangog
Mangog Awakens
by Lauren Fonto at 09 February 2017, 8:28 PM

Few genres can convey despair and hopelessness as well as doom metal. Baltimore, Maryland’s MANGOG conjure such a picture with their dystopian lyrics and riffs heavy enough to stop an elephant. After releasing debut EP “Dreams Within Nightmares” in 2015, their first full-length, “Mangog Awakens”, was released last year. The band consists of experienced doom merchants who’ve been in bands such as BEEZLEFUZZ, IRON MAN and REVELATION.

“Time is a Prison” is the suitably catchy opener – the phrasing of the chorus is especially effective, and has been stuck in my head for a few days now. The riffs sound laid-back, but the subject matter of the lyrics deals with how all living beings are prisoners of time; there’s no getting away from that ticking clock. This track is one of multiple tracks which show influence from BLACK SABBATH, most notably in the vocals. Myke Wells’ vocals also took on a MY DYING BRIDE circa “Like Gods of the Sun” feel on other tracks, such as “Of Your Deceit”. However, the band’s music doesn’t sound derivative; musically they are noticeably different from the aforementioned influences. Wells has a rich baritone voice, and puts out some interesting phrasing throughout the album.

The album doesn’t stay in the same gear the entire time, which keeps things interesting. Second track “Meld” is faster than its predecessor, with crunchy riffs courtesy of Bert Hall, Jr. “Into Infamy” wakes things up after the gloomy (but good, of course) “Of Your Deceit”. The latter slows to a funeral doom pace in the coda, making it a suitable dirge to lost love. The heaviness of this track, and others, benefitted from well-situated bass parts with a rich tone; the low end sounded good to my ears.

 Drummer Mike Rix keeps the pace transitions smooth within a song, with a notable performance on “Ab Intra”. The latter track was one of the highlights of the album for me, with its sobre, jangling riffs and gothic feel. I was actually surprised to find that it was the longest track on the album; the great songwriting keeps things interesting. I think that the band did a good job overall in terms of song length, since the tracks hardly ever felt like they outstayed their welcome. At times, the tracks were imbued with a drama reminiscent of CANDLEMASS.

If you enjoy REVELATION, CANDLEMASS, BLACK SABBATH or MY DYING BRIDE, then you might enjoy this album. This a strong first outing into full-length territory. This is misery in a beautiful package.

Songwriting: 8
Originality: 7
Memorability: 8
Production: 9


4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Time is a Prison
2. Meld
3. Ab Intra
4. Of Your Deceit
5. Into Infamy
6. Modern Day Concubine
7. A Tongue Full of Lies
8. Daydreams Within Nightmares
9. Eyes Wide Shut
Lineup:
Myke Wells – Vocals
Darby Cox – Bass
Bert Hall, Jr. – Guitars, vocals
Mike Rix – Drums 
Record Label: Argonauta Records
     


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