(By Pat ‘Riot’ Whitaker, Lead Journalist/Writer, RiffRelevant.com)
As the ongoing integration of musical genres one into another continues, we take our attentions to Mannheim, Germany and Old Mother Hell.
Back in September of 2017, Bernd Wener (vocals / guitar), Ronald Senft (bass), and Ruben André (drums) released their six-song, S/T Old Mother Hell.
You can definitely say that OMH‘s initial studio offering is well-rooted in doom in its foundations, but it expands much further from there. With equal injections of grunge, gothic rock, new wave, metal and sludge into its swirling dynamo of music, the album is a profound game-changer.
It is dark and emotional, at times hauntingly alluring, and draws from a diverse well of influences. I can hear nods to everything from Iron Maiden to U2, to W.A.S.P., and more. To say the least, the epic scope of things explored here is as equally diverse as those musical genres themselves.
There are huge, profound moments channeled in the faster paces of cuts like “Another War” or “Kneel To No God“. The intense drive and purpose is perhaps the most channeled in the album closing title track, “Old Mother Hell“. The song pulsates and powers on with the only deviation arriving with some massive doom interludes at points. It’s pretty much my favorite selection, the scope of everything covered in it, the diversity in styles, tempos, etc., is prolifically powerful.
As pointed out above, doom is ultimately what everything here eventually boils down to at some point or another. This fact is unquestionably established in the massive sonics of the monolithic “Mountain“, for instance. Sinister, retro elements permeate the song, hearkening back to the traditional origins of heavy music, but there is a contemporary bent, as well.
There are even progressive passages taking place here at times, just one listen to the songs “Narcotic Overthrow” or “Howling Wolves” and you will hear them. They ripple forth in the undercurrent of these tracks, overlaid with piercing transmissions of pristine heavy metal.
I am always encouraged when I’m privy to discoveries such as this one, as Old Mother Hell are clearly quite unique. They are breaking ground with something that exists simultaneously on two planes. There are obvious, irrepressible instances of old-school metal present, but they are met or matched with modern inflections. Together, both have rendered one immense, intensely enjoyable listening experience here.
Check it out via the Bandcamp embedded stream below and see (hear) what you think. I am curious to learn if others are as receptive to this fantastic outing as I have found myself.