I love progressive rock with all my heart. Of course, I’m talking about classic prog rock from the 70s. It’s really hard to find something with the same amount of feeling, originality and beautifulness. The “neo-progressive rock” doesn’t excite me nowhere as near as the earlier stuff . So I was living in the 70’s prog without caring about a horrible truth that this genre is dying. Well…maybe not yet. Something happened. Something really promising. In last few years there are some new progressive rock acts. Not as original as the first wave of this music, but with something that “neo-prog” bands couldn’t capture – magical feeling and some kind of mystical, psychedelic and cosmic atmosphere. Astra, Eye, Diagonal, Ancestors and Mammatus. These are the most promising acts of the new wave of prog rock. They are a sign that something is definitely happening on the scene and I find it very exciting that one of my favourite genres isn’t dead yet. Maybe the best evidence is the album in this review. Ladies and gentlemen – Sparkling Waters by Mammatus.
Mammatus is the most spacey band of all mentioned. These Americans are drowning in the sea of early Hawkwind and Gong. There’s definitely more groove in their stuff, but they surely know how to get a cosmic trance going on. Mammatus, while maybe considered a part of a stoner rock scene, do not rely exclusively on heavy riffs and this is what distinguishes them from the other bands in the genre. They love to swim into another direction, into a world full of astral vibes. There are a lot of ambient moments on this album, beautiful melodies, really good compositions, all accompanied by a polished production. These guys really know how to make fantastic, breathtaking music. This is also a very chilled out and soundscape-ish album. It’s great to a calm yourself a little, take a break, not to think and just dive into their music.
No, this is not an easy listening experience for somebody new to the genre. Four long tracks (the shortest one clocking at fifteen minutes)…so if you are searching for catchy choruses and songs for singing in the shower this is definitely not your thing. But person like this is probably not reading this anymore. If you love spiritual experiences, mellow melodies, atmospheric feeling and complex songwriting this album is definitely for you. In this case it can be even one of your favourite albums, like it is to me. It’s one of the best albums of 2015 and, within the genre, it’s one of the best albums in a long, long time. You can also hear more originality than in previous Mammatus’ stuff. They know where to go, where to evolve their sound… I can do nothing but clap passionately. Beautiful job, great album, keep on rockin’.