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Mangog : Mangog Awakens

Mangog's debut is a solid album firmly rooted in the Maryland sound.

Mangog are a Hard Rock/Doom Metal band from Maryland, USA. That short statement accurately sets a lot of what you can expect on their debut long player, 'Mangog Awakens'. The quartet fittingly send up a hearty round of jaunty, analog dirty Doom with that overcooked, well-trodden guitar sound that is an enduring hallmark of this musical trade. Two separate recording sessions seem to make up the album, evidenced by a marked change in production sound on the latter half. While not any less enjoyable than other also-good American doom records from the last decade, it also doesn't do much to entrench itself in memory once it's over.

Some songs move at a crawl ('Time is a Prison') while others kick into a higher gear ('Meld', 'Into Infamy') that recall the joys of mid-2000s bands like the much-missed Earthride. Strong points can be found on the sprawling, eight-minute, multi-part 'Ab Intra'. Most of the playing time is spent plodding along at the usual primordial sludge tempo, but Mangog presents enough variety to keep things reasonably of interest all the way through. There are some seriously heavy sections on the table, and some riffs you can sink your teeth into.

While Maryland-orbiting Hard Rock and Doom Metal isn't known as the darkest corner of the Doom cave, moments on tracks like 'Of Your Deceit' put aside the normal bong-hitting swagger for a slightly more sinister, introspective mood. Later on, see 'Daydreams Within Nightmares' for a straightforward example of sharp songwriting skills applied to a good hook; possibly the album's best song. Singer Myke Well's voice carries over the top well, reminding me occasionally of Extreme's Gary Cherone, other times faintly of Alice in Chains' Layne Staley. His tune-carrying chops are undeniably considerable, though sometimes lacking for impact, such as on the otherwise-ripping 'Into Infamy'. Bass is also featured numerous times over the course of the album, in its case helped out by a robust, heavyweight tone.

'Mangog Awakens' is a solid album that frankly won't out-stride its influences and likely won't catch the notice of anyone not already closely following their scene. But for those who can't get enough of this sound, Mangog's album should satisfy appetites, at least until the next Obsessed album arrives.

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Reviewer's rating: 6.5/10


Tracklist :
1. Time Is A Prison
2. Meld
3. Ab Intra
4. Of Your Deceit
5. Into Infamy
6. Modern Day Concubine
7. A Tongue Full Of Lies
8. Daydreams Within Nightmares
9. Eyes Wide Shut

Duration : Approx. 46 minutes

Visit the Mangog bandpage.

Reviewed on 2017-02-25 by Mark Rzeszutek
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