Thursday, 25 October 2012

Mother Of God - Anthropos (Album Review)

Anthropos cover art
Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 5th Feb 2013
Label: Small Stone Recordings
Track Listing
1) 230 2:54
2) Graenslandet 3:06
3) The Forest 3:34
4) Aim for the Sun 5:19
5) Adrift 4:11
6) To Live 3:56
7) Hoenan 2:18
8) Windows 4:04
9) Something From Below 6:41
10) R Mcord 4:00
11) Lucy 8:11
Born in 2008 and raised on rock in Morgårdshammar, Sweden, the four-piece Mother of God cast off a lot of the retro ‘70s mentality of their countrymen in favor of a more modern approach. Well, 20 years more modern, anyway. Mother of God no doubt have some appreciation for the finer things in ‘70s rock – there are beards to prove it – but musically they incorporate influences from grunge and the heavy grooves of the early ‘90s. Bands like Soundgarden and Alice in Chains mesh their downtrodden grunge melodies alongside classic inspiration drawn from Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin.

These might sound like familiar elements – at least the names ring out – but Mother of God bring their own emotional spin to their Small Stone debut, Anthropos, and never quite cooperate with what you think they’ll do next. The band has released two prior EPs – 2011’s Forging a New Path and their debut – and they recorded and mixed Anthropos in Borlänge with Erik Nerback, Chris Goosman mastered, and Sanna Albenius, Robin Gnista and Alexander von Wieding provided art and layout design.

In addition to festival appearances at Getaway Rock, Wacken Open Air in Germany and Peace & Love, Mother of God have shared the stage with YOB, Dozer, Graveyard, Imperial State Electric and more, and they’ll look to continue their live domination in Scandinavia and beyond in support of Anthropos, shoving their eclectic sound and undeniable hooks right in the faces of everyone who thinks they know what heavy rock should sound like (Small Stone Recordings)
Mother of God is:
Daniel Nygren: Vocals, Guitars
Johan Kvastegård: Guitars
Carl Lindblad: Bass Guitar
Jimmy Hurtig: Drums
Track one, 230 there is an immediately recognisable stoner riffage of the desert variety, as we are basically stampeded through Death Valley.  This intro riff not quite pilfered, but more compulsory gives me a perfect initial idea of what I’m going to be getting on this album. The vocals remind me immediately of Spice from The Mushroom River Band, the songs structured around this well sung vocal, forming a perfect relationship with the instruments as we are served this meat and potatoes stoner main course first.
Graenslandet, implies more of the same but sung in their native tongue and with the bass nice and high in the mix, they breakdown into a groove reminiscent of old Acrimony, catchy as hell short and sweet!   I only wish I knew what it was all about.  With The Forest this rhythm riff takes me way back when The Doors were the band of the moment and Jim Morrison was king of the crooners.  This song is a nice break from the norm and sequenced among the songs perfectly and even picks up pace as The Doors would’ve with nice guitar leads and vocal flourishes.  Aim For The Sun the intro of which,  is fantastic psyche blues and opens up a little like Layne Staley would sing it for Alice in Chains, and to be honest there is a little early nineties throughout  this album even breaking into some Soundgarden. The song then speeds up for a little while and I get the impression that they jammed the ending.
The next couple of songs start out quite mellow, allowing Daniel to properly sing and mix it up with his vocal range, he gives it a radio friendly commercial edge which isn’t a bad thing at all.  I would welcome this sort of thing on the radio warmly.  Something From The Edge takes us back into a much more psychedelic feeling, mixing a sort of shoe gaze effect, with some cool guitar effects phasing in and out of the chorus and incorporating sweet fuzzy leads.  The longest and last track Lucy, we are back in the saddle with the stoner desert grooves.  A decent repetitive catchy riff is just what a record like this needs to bow out on, bluesy bridges and heavy horse riding riffs aplenty.
I find myself thinking back to when stoner rock was just that, classic feeling, completely uplifting and downright fucking Hooky.
This band are currently touring the UK as I post this and I recommend you catch them live as they will undoubtedly blow you away.  I’m gonna see them Friday in Oxford, England.
Written by: John Slaymaker
As John mentioned Mother Of God kick off their co - headlining Euro tour with label mates and Sludgelord faves, Abrahma.  Check out the dates below.  This record is currently available as a digital download here until the record's official release next Feb.  There are links to the band below too.  Thanks guys.  Support this band.



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