If doom metal is your thing, then the chances are you have probably already heard of both the contributing acts on this EP. Hailing from Belfast in Northern Ireland, Slomatics are old hands on the doom scene, having been around since 2004, with five full-lengths and quite a few split albums behind them. Mammoth Weed Wizard Bastard (surely one of the best names in doom metal) are a relative newcomer, having formed in 2014 and having only produced two albums and one EP so far. From deepest, darkest Wrexham in North Wales, Mammoth Weed Wizard Bastard have already garnered quite a bit of respect and approval from inveterate doom metal listeners in their few years of existence, having attracted significant attention with 2016's excellent "Y Proffwyd Dwyll”.
These two fine acts have come together on this split EP, “Totems”, to produce a double dosage of Celtic-tinged doom, with two tracks from MWWB and three from Slomatics.
MWWB get things started with the slow building, hypnotic and pounding “The Master and His Emissary”. Singer Jessica Ball's excellent vocals provide a rich topping to the layer cake of thrumming guitars and crashing drums. Second track, “Eadguru” gives us a track in a similar vein to the first, giving us classic, crushing doom rhythms, thus rounding off MWWB's excellent duo of tracks on this EP.
MWWB hand the baton over to Slomatics for the third track, “Ancient Architects”. Esoteric and atmospheric, “Ancient Architects” gives us an otherworldly slice of prime doom. “Silver Ships Into The Future” gives us something of an interlude between Slomatics' two main efforts on this EP, providing some light instrumental melodies, giving us room to think and to breathe before “Master's Decent” comes along and knocks us for six with its deeply down-tuned guitars and treacle-thick soundscape. Heavier than dark matter and deeper than an oil-baron's pockets, Master's Descent is what doom metal is all about, and a solid track to close off the EP.
At forty-three minutes long, this EP would be more than long enough to count as a full-length album in most other genres, but in the glacially slow and drawn-out world of doom metal, this is short and sweet, and leaves you wanting a little more. Both bands, particularly MWWB, definitely have plenty more to offer us with their next efforts, that's for sure. A worthy addition to your collection, “Totems” is a small but satisfying helping of modern doom metal.