With his second release, Wolfgang VanHalen is staking his claim to a new generation of Van Halen greatness – MAMMOTH II is an impressive sophomore effort and shows not just growth but also an amazing depth not just in writing but also in performance.
Kicking things off is the incredibly heavy – yet oddly melodic RIGHT? Wolfgang’s voice never slips into the much-overused metal gravel growl that the instrumentation indicates might be coming and that fact makes this sound fresh, exciting, and unique when compared to a lot of the things going on in the metal scene today.
The next few tracks following the amazing opener are all strong but do seem to suffer a bit from the first track being so strong but – after repeated listenings, those songs do stand on their own quite nicely. Things pick back up quickly though when the opening riffs of MILES ABOVE ME rattle your brain.
The album comes in at 10 songs and clocks in at a modest 48 minutes, which makes it a perfect choice for a morning drive to work to get that blood flowing and the day off to a rocking start.
Wolfgang’s prowess on the guitar is jaw-dropping but – I guess what should we expect from someone who grew up, was taught, mentored, and loved by one of – if not THE – greatest guitarists of all time. Wolfgang has his own style though – he’s building upon the groundwork laid by his iconic father and creating a sound that is all his – and promises to redefine music much the way Eddie did – but on his own terms – and I can’t wait to watch it happen.
The album closes out as strongly as it started with the three punch of tracks – ERASE ME, WAITING, and BETTER THAN YOU. All three totally different in structure and tone but all showcasing the talent, imagination, and drive of a musical giant.
MAMMOTH II is out now and available wherever you purchase or stream your passion.