‘Yn Ol I Annwyn’, Welsh for Return To The Underworld’, it is the third part of the trilogy of albums that began with ‘Noeth Ac Anoeth’ in 2015 and 2017’s ‘Y Proffwyd Dwyll’ (which got them nominated for the Welsh Music Prize in 2017). Whilst MWWB as a band, have never been overly visible, they don’t tend to be idle. 2018 saw them release a split 12” with kindred spirits, Slomatics, and being personally asked by Robert Smith of The Cure to play his Meltdown in London. Not to mention playing an international array of dates and other festivals, prior recording this epic third album. So last Summer, along with new bassist Stuart Sinclair, MWWB returned to Skyhammer Studios and Chris Fielding, to create ‘Yn Ol I Annwyn’.
The 8 songs that comprise thes album, sees the band delve deeper into their collective influences, embracing full on space rock, atmospheric film soundtracks, melancholic acoustic interludes, psychedelia, cosmic moogs and percussion, moments of introspection and light … and of course, large helpings of doom. The fat riffs, big hooks and endless space grooves are all present. Jessica Ball’s voice glides over it all, both sweet and melancholy, yet this time more assured. A myriad of stacked harmonies and layered vocals weave in and out of the tracks, adding an ‘other-worldly’ melodicism to the songs. Here’s what guitarist Paul Michael Davies had to say …“For the 3rd album I wanted to take the band’s sound even further but still stay true to what made us start the band in the first place. Personally, I think the doom scene is (thankfully) thriving, but some of the ‘genre’ tropes can be a bit limiting, and we are all about pushing that. So some elements of this album will be something different for the usual doom fan. It’s kind of a nice mix of our usual heavy riffs but with some fresh elements. Vocalist Jessica Ball adds … “Album number 3 definitely fits in with the theme of our music evolving, as we’ve been hinting at with the design on our album covers. I feel that we’ve really pushed the boat out on this one, I can’t wait for it to be released!” In fact the album as a whole, is very much a sonic journey into some cosmos on the edge of forever.
The short moog piece ‘Tralfamadore’ is your starting point for a voyage that takes in the cosmic space doom of ‘The Spaceships Of Ezekiel’ which manages to mix prog time shifts, heavy riffing, moog licks and catchiness within its 8 odd minutes. Fata Morgana has its rolling almost folk-ish guitar melody on which Jess Ball’s vocals float and shimmer, until it crashes into full on sludge and shoegaze for the second part of the song. ‘Du Bist Jetzt Nicht In Der Zukunft’ is an atmospheric cello and synth soundscape with Ball’s vocal textures weaving and dancing throughout. Title track ‘Yn Ol I Annwyn’ is down tuned, fuzz drenched, ethereal. It could almost be pop, if it wasn’t for the strangeness and heaviness that lurks within. Katyusha is a 13 minute plus instrumental. With its many parts and riffs interlocking and changing, it’s a journey in itself. ‘The Majestic Clockwork’ is a chugging leviathan punctuated with cello stabs, staccato vocals, fuzz drones and floating choirs, before riffing out on a moog trip. The album closes with ‘Five Days In The Abyss’ a mix of atmospherics and fat crushing riffs, an ideal way to end our journey … destination … somewhere new.
Previous comparisons to Windhand, Yob, Sleep. or whatever, are rendered completely redundant with ‘Yn Ol I Annwyn’. Mammoth Weed Wizard Bastard sound like Mammoth Weed Wizard Bastard, full stop.
FORMAT: Both Vinyl formats include a free download, NHSLP026X is on green/blue marbled vinyl. NHSLP026C is on amber and red disc vinyl. Theres 750 of each colour.
2. The Spaceships Of Ezekiel
1. Fata Morgana
2. Du Bist Jetzt Nicht In Der Zukunft
1, Yn Ol I Annwyn
1. The Majestic Clockwork
2. Five Days In The Abyss
New Heavy Sounds NHSLP026X / NHSLP026C