Bart M. : Sometimes you hold an album and while looking at the total package (artwork, logo, song titles) you suddenly get the feeling that this might very well be a really great album. I got this feeling while holding Mammüth's 'Outlander' and it was with some expectation that I started listening to it. And wow, this sounds great. 'Outlander' has the perfect mix of shorter, heavy songs and long epic journeys through history and the imagination. Solid stoner metal with groovy riffs.
Every song sounds right from beginning to end and is a copulation of hard beats and riffs accompanied by melodic rhythm guitars (sometimes reminiscent of Voivod) and magnificent vocals. Every once in a while in the world of metal a voice emerges that at the exact right time finds the exact right circumstances and this is certainly the case here. Steffen Overaa's vocal chords make this already solid album complete. It reminds me of Johan Hegg's sound (Amon Amarth, of which yours sincerely is not really a fan), but it's a lot more convincing. On this album, Mammüth takes us on a gray journey through inhospitable soundscapes.
A couple of songs rise above the others, one of which is 'Hadrian's Wall'. When I read the title it immediately reminded me of Maiden's 'Alexander The Great', and indeed, it's a song that fits the same category, but totally different. It's a long, compelling song based on actual history and eventually results in a true battle hymn. Another one is 'Lightyears', even though when I heard it the first time I thought it would be one of the less good songs because it sounded a bit poppy to me, especially the singing was a bit unconvincing. When I listened to it again I realized how wrong I had been: enhanced by a really heavy background the vocals SEEM to be heading towards a slightly too happy sounding road but eventually they take a very melancholic turn which makes this song fit the album perfectly.
All in all I am quite impressed with what Mammüth does here. 'Outlander' is a record that you won't be sorry listening to!