Kozmik Artifactz/Bilocation Records, November 2013
Sweden’s Mexicoma play a refreshing and mature brand of switched-on stoner metal. On this, their second full-length album, they skilfully blend the blissful density of Kyuss with the potent populism of Foo Fighters and the compelling mastery of Vol 4-era Sabbath. In a genre that can easily become a bottleneck packed with musicians with only one idea, Mexicoma are far, far above the average. On ‘Obsidian Monolith’ the band let their progressive side run riot so that while we get plenty of hard-riffing, whisky-drinking rock music, there are twists and turns hidden in every song. The album is a real adventure from start to finish.
Judging by the initial notes of the opening track – the high-octane rollercoaster ‘Keep Me Alive’ – it seems that this will simply be a really good traditional stoner record. But, as it unfolds, things get more complex and they drop some of the fuzz and go for a combination of ferocity and fun. The guitars are sharp and deadly as daggers, going straight for the jugular. The snarling vocals of Magnus Olsson fall somewhere between ‘JB’ of Grand Magus/Spiritual Beggars and the mighty Lemmy Kilmister. While Olsson perhaps lacks the dexterity of the former and the sheer power of the latter, his voice flits impressively between raucous and delicate, notably on the slow-burning ‘Island Of Ghosts’. On the immense chorus of ‘West Of Memphis’ the guitars and vocals combine to create a tidal wave of metal that crashes into your brain, cleansing and destroying.
Some of the songs are a little low-key, such as the psychedelic ‘Supersonic Speed’ and the slightly cheesy acoustic ‘Salvation’, but on the whole ‘Obsidian Monolith’ motors along like a Lewis Hamilton in a ten-ton, 18-wheel truck. Best of all, perhaps, is the quirky ‘Abyssus Abyssum Invocat’ which invokes not only the likes of Monster Magnet and Queens Of The Stone Age, but also brings an element of the brilliantly barmy Voivod or Primus. Whether you’re looking for big riffs or big ideas, Mexicoma have created a great album that is sure to satisfy your stoner needs.