By Dr. Abner Mality

Latest in an unending avalanche of morose sludgy doom bands, Mammoth Storm should be the kind of band I can sink my tusks into. It isn’t.

Featuring members of the Goth metal band Draconian, Mammoth Storm play very ponderous and dirge-like doom that sounds like a cross between the sludge overkill of Conan and the heaviest epic doom of Candlemass. A kind of Nordic feeling prevails as well. Should be killer, right? Indeed, opening cut “Augurs Echo” hits the right notes…the guitar sound is heavy enough to rival label-mates Ahab and the tune has a mournful melody to it that sinks in deep. It is quite repetitive, which is a Mammoth Storm trait, but here it doesn’t really hurt the song. “Vulture’s Prey” is more aggressive and up-tempo (though hardly a speed fest) and therefore listenable. After this, though, the cracks start to appear. “Sumerian Cry” (Tiamat fans, are we?) is less than three minutes yet it still beats its main riff into the ground.

From there, the music gets steadily more boring. The title track, “Horns of Jura” and the bloated “Hekla” just plod along like the band’s wooly namesake. It gets real dreary because there’s so little variation. Some bands have mastered this kind of hypnotic drone….Mammoth Storm is still working on it. “Horns of Jura” in particular is a real snore.

It’s all miserable and heavy enough, but not as good as it should be. Mammoth Storm has the right idea but the execution is inconsistent.