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The Mammoths Victorious at the Battle of Waterloo - 87%

bayern, March 8th, 2018

Only that this battle has nothing to do with heavy metal… I don’t know, maybe the guys had released some other demo in the mid-80’s, or even earlier, that justifies the description here. Cause that one here shows them as true pioneers bringing the technical thrash/death hybrid on European soil, even before the latter had been fully shaped on the other side of the Atlantic, predating the works of Sadus, the Chileans Torturer, and their compatriots Assesor.

One has to overcome the really muddy sound quality before getting absorbed in the music the title-track a complex multi-layered shredder which gradually picks up speed, the not very rehearsed shouty vocals starkly contrasting with the much more stylish musical delivery which is surprisingly accomplished for this early stage with harmonious, logical switches between tempos and time-signatures, something which even Hellwitch and Atheist hadn’t mastered that well at the time. “Znicenz Svgt” introduces a more melodic, but equally as stylish approach with infectious melodic hooks duelling with spastic technical riffage the ensuing “tussle” having a strange surreal aura with superb lead pyrotechnics adding more to the exuberant nature of this grand opus.

“Hrobe” is a short hyper-active explosion of intricate guitar fireworks, a charming chaotic shredder which is the total opposite to “Rvacka v Hospode”, a much more disciplined all-instrumental piece with numerous nuances embedded on top of truly inspired fretwork. “Zmetek” is a more restrained mid-pacer, but the guitarists shine all over with dazzling melodic hooks flying from all sides, the lead guitar one beating the Shrapnel performers with some of the finest exploits to ever come out of the small republic. “Obgd” is an encompassing 8-min progressive saga the guys stirring a violent chaotic melee, sheer early death metal madness, initially before “the carnage” gets more organized with more structured riff layers and more frequent melodic “excursions”. Ironically, “Death” is the less death metal-fixated number being a more orthodox, albeit hyper-active speed/thrasher ala Rigor Mortis and Holy Terror.

Another solid proof that all things ground-breaking had their origins in the deep underground, this effort was obviously intended as a vehicle for the guitarists as all the other musicians are mere background providers. Again, it’s admirable to hear all the right ingredients lined-up, the cacophonic violent barrage of Hellwitch, the surgical precision of Atheist, and above all these elusive gorgeous melodic ornaments that were later perfected by Sadus and Torturer again. It lacks coherence here and there with the guys’ beaming enthusiasm presiding over the proceedings at times, but as an early brutal compilation of genuine ideas and dexterous execution it works on all counts.

The axemen certainly got noticed, and one of them (Alex Nejezchleba) was recruited later by none other than Mr. Paul Speckman to participate in both Master and Death Strike. He also helped his brother, the bass player here, with the foundation of the modern thrash outfit Shaark, still operational at present, although both are misused there as the delivery is pretty standard without too many technical pretensions. Well, once you’ve won an epic battle like Waterloo, you don’t need to prove yourself any further, do you?