Wolfgang Van Halen, son of rock legend Eddie Van Halen, has launched his own band called Mammoth WVH. Their debut album showcases Wolfgang’s talent with tight production and well-structured songs. The album features heavy riffs, melodic vocals, and impressive guitar solos. The band’s sound is reminiscent of Slash with Myles Kennedy & The Conspirators. Overall, Mammoth WVH’s debut album is a strong and promising start. heavymag.com.au reported
The bar must be set quite high when your father is a renowned guitar legend. Fortunately for Wolfgang Van Halen, I am not well-informed about his father’s achievements, except for a few anecdotes. Firstly, Dimebag Darrell, an esteemed guitarist, hails his father as a true legend, and given Dimebag’s endorsement, it must be undeniably true. Secondly, his father is known for a solo called “Eruption,” which I regrettably have not listened to and therefore cannot confirm its quality. Lastly, his father’s band performed a song called “Jump,” which features an abundance of keyboards in its music video. It is perplexing that no keyboard player is present in the clip, leaving one to ponder the role of the musicians donning tight spandex pants.
Moving on from that discussion, I am here to review Wolfgang’s band, Mammoth WVH, which is independent of his father’s legendary status (may he rest in peace). So, let us delve into the review.
Right from the start, the album captivates with thumping tom fills and a guitar rhythm that harmonizes with the beat. Shortly thereafter, Wolfgang’s smooth melodic vocals take center stage. The song possesses a grandiose sound, with the choruses opening up to create an anthemic atmosphere. As the song progresses, a guitar solo emerges during the bridge, showcasing Wolfgang’s inherited guitar skills. The track concludes on a heavier note, featuring syncopated chugging patterns reminiscent of the metalcore genre. Overall, it is a strong start to the album.
During the opening of “Like A Pastime,” the guitars chug along, highlighting the album’s exceptional production quality. The tightness and balance of the track are impeccable, with each element occupying its rightful place. While the riffs may not be groundbreaking, their simplicity is well-structured, ensuring an enjoyable listening experience. The familiarity of the song suggests it may have been released as a single, and a quick Google search confirms that it was indeed the second single.
The next track, “Another Celebration at the End of the World,” commences with rumbling toms, leading into a full-blown rocker propelled by relentless riffing and even the inclusion of a cowbell. The song evokes a slight resemblance to Slash with Myles Kennedy & The Conspirators, albeit with a heavier undertone. Throughout the track, Wolfgang’s guitar prowess shines through with his impressive solos.
“Miles Above Me” takes a step back from the intense energy, introducing a pop-rock vibe to the album. It seems to convey a love song or a tale of falling short in love, or perhaps attempting to exceed one’s capabilities. However, my interpretation may be misguided.
“Take A Bow” follows suit with another groovy yet restrained track. This time, the melody possesses a bouncier and more progressive quality. The fractured guitar riffs and shifting rhythms create a captivating ebb and flow. The song’s infectious nature lies in its smooth and meandering structure. As the track progresses, the guitars take center stage, leading to enthralling solos before transitioning back into the chorus. It is undeniably a standout track.
As an admittedly far-from-optimistic individual, I find myself unexpectedly captivated by the opening bass line and the rhythmic rock beat of “I’m Alright.” The unconventional time signature, perhaps a complex 7/8 rhythm, adds intrigue to the track. Although understanding such intricacies may elude most listeners, particularly those unacquainted with the band Tool and their affinity for polyrhythms, the song remains an absolute banger.
Now that I have expressed my thoughts regarding “I’m Alright,” I must mention Wolfgang’s impressive vocal abilities. His powerful and melodic voice continuously delivers strong melodies throughout the album. The rest of the band, although potentially composed of touring musicians with minimal involvement in the album’s creation, also deserve recognition. If indeed this album showcases Wolfgang’s multi-instrumental skills, it is undeniably impressive.
At this point, I must refrain from discussing “Erase Me” any further, as I am thoroughly enjoying the album and wish to fully immerse myself in its musicality. This is a rare occurrence for me, as I rarely get the opportunity to simply listen without the need to analyze and write. Please note that my reviews are composed in real-time as I listen to the album, allowing my unfiltered thoughts to shape the narrative. Subsequent editing and proofreading ensure the elimination of any errors before publication.
Enough about my idiosyncratic writing style, though. This review is centered around Mammoth WVH, whose songwriting and production style far surpass my own. The album brilliantly showcases Wolfgang’s vast array of talents, and considering this is only his second endeavor, one can only anticipate the future brilliance that awaits us.
Full credit is undoubtedly due to the band for this exceptional album..