Mammother – Devotion Lost


Mammother – Devotion Lost


Mammothor is an American hard rock band from Boston, Massachusetts, formed in 2012. Travis Lowell fronts the group with powerful and versatile vocals. Berklee graduate Josh Johnson studied with guitar shred legend Joe Stump while Dana Sharpton has studied with virtuoso guitarist Greg Howe. The dynamic and steady drums of Nick Raby fill out the band’s eclectic sound. They have everything from power metal of the 80s to alternative rock and even combine some blues and classic rock on their new release, Devotion Lost. But most of it stays rooted in the harder aspects of their first album. Devotion Lost is the second creature of Mammothor’s musical habits, but a much different animal than the first, although if you don’t compare them you get even more out of this band at this stage in the game. That can be the case with anyone, but comparisons are often what reviews hang on.

Having already heard it more times than their first one, doesn’t mean I can say it leaves it in the dust though. You’ll have to get both recommended albums to work that out yourself. But let’s just say they outdid themselves without changing at all beyond recognition. Not easy to do after a hot debut, most hardly know where to go to come back from it. But one listen to “Howling Baying Jackal” and you already get the impression some progress is made. This isn’t some garage band stabbing in the dark, it’s a refined and refreshed outfit. These vocals don’t just growl, they sooth in the process. You know they listened to all the right bands coming up, as they pay some clear homage to the studded wristband era of the distant past. But they also clearly move to their own integral beat as well. But like with anyone you need to analyze the lyrics to know what it’s about. And Travis Lowell has a way of vocalizing properly enough to where that matters to whom it may concern and not to others. And it just flows from there out, in a way that could be abrasive to some who can’t wrap their heads around it, but completely a one eighty for those who fall into their fan base category. But they don’t make it too hard for either to be honest. You just have one taste or the other for rock, which they meet if you’re flexible. “Skin” is one of three that grabs me the most, as it hits just the right nerves to keep one locked in. This is mindful to youth and adults of today who want to rock without getting arrested. The bass pulsates through it like a machine gun that won’t run out of ammo. It hooks Metallica but knocks out like Magadeth, with flying guitars over some chanting about how make-up won’t last. You’ll dig the sweet guitars of “Anatma” with its almost YES style as it sets up the smoking hot “Faith Healer” to curl your hair and peel the paint off the walls. This is no punch puller, as it undeniably rocks. As does the equally tough as nails “Shadows Of Oblivion” with its more straight forward sound and even harder pushing vocals. In-fact he might push a little harder than needed on this one track. It’s not easy conveying lyrics with such a growl but people have been doing it for decades, and some pull it off very well. It’s also not easy coming up with this many good tunes around it, or vice versa in the order. Not everyone can pull it off without going down on one knee. And if you want to hear music somewhere in the vein of classic rock and progressive rock together in one big song, then “Elusive Engineer” is right up your alley. This has that ring to it like you’ve heard it a thousand times. If you like singers like Geoff Tate, this is where Travis Lowell proves he has the vocal and songwriting chops to sing with any band. You can dwell on the similarities or you can capitalize on them. The latter is always the better choice unless you’re paying tribute and make no qualm of it. It’s a high-end result on one of their best offerings.

Call it a crafty thing, because it is exactly that. “This Is Not An Exit” “Generation Thief” and “Tyrannicide” all have something to offer as well, and so does the closer “Pillar Of Simeon” in all of their finer glory. They sit well among others mentioned, but if there is one that I’m not as able to get into it would have to be “Blood-Soaked Candy Heart.” But that is better than a sharp stick in the eye, as the rest bring home the proverbial bacon.


Kevin Webber