For their second full-length release, New York occult/doom rockers Mama Doom have ditched the guitars that adorned their 2018 hard rock infused debut, opting to strip their core sound to a bare bones setup of bass, drums and keyboard. On paper, it sounds like a mistake to deny music of this ilk some fuzzy six string riffage, but in doing so this beguiling three piece have produced a unique, gothic tinged dose of occult rock that will intrigue many from the metal crowd and beyond.
First thing to note is just how addictive these songs are; this album is simply dripping with hooks and melody. Echoes of Ghost can be heard on the dance-inducing opener ‘Batshit Crazy’, whilst the gorgeous bass-led ‘Indigo’ is Black Sabbath via Cocteau Twins. Other highlights include the dark, brooding, 80s synth-adorned ‘Blood Moon’; the hypnotic charms of ‘Vodka’ and the lively, post-punk vibes of ‘Werewolf’. The superb Patti–Smith-at-a-seance vocals of frontwoman D Lolli often take centre stage throughout, though not at the expense of the music. Indeed, the rattling, groovy bass lines, The Cure-esque keyboards and the pummelling drums, all combine to create a gorgeously rich canvas onto which Lolli paints her witchy melodies.
By changing their approach, ditching the guitars, and embracing a more 80s goth aesthetic Mama Doom have created an album that far surpasses their debut and feels like a true breath of fresh air in the occult and doom rock scene. Close the curtains, light some candles and let the darkness embrace you.
Ash Bone Skin N Stone is released 23rd July via Majestic Mountain Records and can be purchased here.
Words: Adam Pegg