Sheffield four piece Naisian embark on their first full-length release of space adventures and in the process conjure up snatches of Eyehategod, Kylesa and the dearly departed Isis. This is primarily a sludge metal affair based on an unfussy instrumental set-up; no banks of keyboards, synthesizers or exotic creations just guitars, drums and hefty throats (ok, I daresay a few pedals were utilised but meh).
"Mammalian" begins with a megaton blast of distorted doom worthy of the name 'Fletcher-Munson'. The rattle of the opening riff actually gives way to a more considered quiet middle section before the strident riffs return accompanied by a sinewy guitar line, a circling drum pattern and the band's gnarled vocals make their appearance. A promising, if not unexpected, start. 'Bellicist' starts off quiet shaping a post-rock movement with a prominent bass-line leading the way. After two minutes of calm the noise returns and the Isis comparison becomes more obvious especially in Adam's (or is it James's) vocals and the ebb and flow of this titanic slab of a song. 'Take Me to the Mountain Dew Mountain', however, is not a song title I can imagine Aaron Turner and co submitting for release (unlike the previous two tracks) and is, in truth, the first sign of Naisian's very own musical identity. The heavy sludge begins to reflect a little more light and a more heavy rock approach comes into play. The opening riff is of certified Iommi strength and appears and re-appears from behind a scuttling rhythm. 'Take Me to the Mountain Dew Mountain' continues to morph for the duration of its seven and half minute length and, put simply the song is immense. Title track 'Mammalian' follows with the record's momentum building. A taut, down-tuned riff chugs away before descending into a lengthy watery vortex. 'I am Eustache Dauger' or the man who spent most of his life supposedly imprisoned in a (none more metal) iron mask in 17th Century France closes the album with a beast of riff meeting some melody on a truly epic journey of a song.
Although unfocussed at times 'Mammalian' is a fine album which immediately provokes at its end to start it all over again. Lest we forget as well that it's taken many a great band three or four albums to find their mojo. Nonetheless Naisian are, without doubt, the most exciting British band playing this brand of heavy psychedelic riffery right now.