Written by Kirk
Mammon’s Throne – Mammon’s Throne
> Victoria, Australia
> Releasing April 1
> Brilliant Emperor Records
Have you ever listened to an album that was so utterly and completely your jam that you completely lose yourself in it? You forget where you are and what you were doing. Time stands still, and the only thing that matters is getting to that last song. It’s happened to me a few times, and it happened to me with this album right here. Seriously, though, have you heard Mammon’s Throne? Their riffs sound like Paradise Lost just entered a powerlifting contest…AND WON. I mean, there’s “heavy,” and then there’s Mammon’s Throne.
The album kicks things off with “Return Us to the Stars,” guitars wailing and drums pounding a slow dirge as the pace slowly builds to blackened sludge. Then it slows down again, giving a much needed break to neck muscles that are suddenly very, very sore. But this respite is brief, as the riff comes back, but meaner. Nastier. And faster. But still heavy. WHY IS IT SO HEAVY?
If the first song was too much for you, I have some bad news: The second song, “Beyond,” is even heavier. I’m sorry, what’s that you said? “Not possible”? Oh, it’s very possible, friend! Otherwise, my ears wouldn’t be bleeding right now. But look on the bright side (?): this song is significantly shorter than the last one.
Almost as if they knew we needed a break, “A King’s Last Lament” saunters in with a slow, melancholy, almost mournful guitar intro over a strong wind.
“Cursed / The years that lay ahead / Enthroned in mournful silence / And hope, it lies long dead / Dying is the day / And howling are the nights / Writhing in dismay / In the fading of the light”
Poetic stuff. And powerful. We often attribute heavy metal lyrics to goofy stuff like Dungeons & Dragons, medieval armies doing battle, and wizards pondering their orbs, but the world around is can be just as bleak and miserable. And don’t try to tell me acoustic guitars don’t belong in doom metal; Windhand’s “Evergreen” is one of the heaviest songs they’ve ever recorded.
And then the riff comes back, but slower this time (which is just how I like it) with “Mammon’s Throne (Reap What You Sow).” Yes, that’s right. “Mammon’s Throne” by Mammon’s Throne from the album Mammon’s Throne. Say it out loud. Go ahead, get it out of your system…. Anyway, as I was saying, this song is just pure epic doom through and through. Amesh Perera’s guitar work and Nick Boschan’s drumming here are enough to shake paint off the walls. In truth, the band is firing on all cylinders here.
Closing out the album is “Impure,” a song full of heaviness and dread. Of all the songs on this album, this one feels kinda…flat. It doesn’t have that death-doom fury of the previous songs, except for the break at about 4:30 in when Matthew Miller invokes the mighty Tom G. Warrior with an, “OÜGH!”, and then the breakdown hits. Overall, compared to the rest of the songs, this one feels like it’s just plodding along, but it fits the vibe of the song and overall flow of the album, so it’s actually a great way to end.
THE BOTTOM LINE
Throughout the course of history, there are a plethora of examples of individuals who rose to great power only to have their whole lives crash down around them. This is the story behind Mammon’s Throne, that of a man who seeks power (“Return Us to the Stars”), becomes drunk on power (“Beyond”), bemoans the damage he has caused (“A King’s Last Lament”), remembers that from whence he came so shall he return (“Mammon’s Throne (Reap What You Sow)”), and finally stares into the abyss as those whom he once ruled now rip him apart (“Impure”). As songwriter for the band, Matthew Miller does a splendid job of weaving a timeless tale that all can relate to, and it is masterfully brought to life by his bandmates Amesh Perera, Sam Talbot-Canon, and Nick Boschan. This isn’t just an album you won’t want to sleep on, you don’t want to sleep on Mammon’s Throne. PERIOD.