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Gilgamesh - A Quest For A Few Immortal Riffs - 84%

Pokerhappy, September 10th, 2012

What we have here is a fully instrumental concept album chronicling the Epic of Gilgamesh. That might sound like a tough job to take on, but Mahatma turn it into an atmospheric stoner marvel.

The album consists of 6 songs and goes on for 55 minutes -- being an instrumental stoner band, if you're thinking this might get repetitive, you don't know the half of it. Mahatma tend to create a fantastic riff and stick with it for an entire song. Blood On Uruk, Gllgamesh, and Secret of Immortality follow this pattern, consisting of exactly one riff each. It's not as bad as it sounds. The repetition is almost hypnotic at times, and there's a fair amount of progression to the riffs, such as the layering of instruments, that creates a strong atmosphere. The bass is always audible, which is a big plus, and the variance in the drums are part of what contribute to the songs not becoming a complete drone.

Blood On Uruk has a great riff that doesn't get old, and while the titular Gilgamesh's riff is memorable and equally enjoyable, it does drag on slightly. Nonetheless, it is a good track. Enkidu's End is one of the most varied tracks, second to The Final Decline. It starts out with a clean emotional lead, brings in some chords, and gets more aggressive over time.

Secret of Immortality has an unsettling and bizarre atmosphere to it, and it's a nice change from Enkidu's End. Find The Sacred Herb is upbeat and has a galloping riff that sounds vaguely like Barracuda during the clean section. Finally, we reach The Final Decline, which is where Mahatma really shines. As I said before, it's the most varied track, and it's also one of the best. By the end it becomes an aggressive wall of power before fading out, a great end to a solid album.

Mahatma is not for everyone. The songs definitely grow on you, but if you get through the first 5 minutes and find that you're not enjoying it, you might want to pass on the album -- the songs are certainly different, but the concept behind them is pretty much the same: play a riff until it stops being fun. For people who are looking for an album to get lost in, or just some interesting stoner metal, this is definitely worth a listen.