Mahumodo
Waves


4.0
excellent

Review

by EndlessClockwork USER (14 Reviews)
September 11th, 2008 | 27 replies


Release Date: 2003 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Beautiful and atmospheric. The ubiquitous ingredients to a good post-(insert genre) album.

A weary-eyed man drives through the jagged coastline of the New England states. The scenic road is winding, densely clouded by fog and lightly sprinkled by drizzle…the prelude to an oncoming storm. The headlights desperately pierce through the opaqueness, glaring at the surrounding trees, hills, rivers, lakes, and mountains. The man is alone, journeying deeper into seclusion, but this is what he needs. The gentle drizzle can immediately change into knife-like raindrops, the misguiding fog can easily throw the driver off route, and unnerving tranquility can transform into relentless panic. But this is much to the excitement of the driver, who smirks as he continues on into the tense unpredictability.

That is what my somewhat pretentious imagination constructs when listening to good atmospheric post-metal/hardcore. The perfect use of dynamic change and manipulation, the simultaneously unsettling and soothing ambience, and the overall instilling of emotions, somehow usually both hopeful and hopeless. Bands like *shels and Devil Sold His Soul, execute such very well. So does the short-lived Mahumodo, a band after four years and four EPs, split to form the two very talented bands aforementioned…and you can definitely hear it. While bands like Neurosis and ISIS are centrally oriented around heaviness and unequivocal metal influence, Mahumodo lands on the opposite end of the spectrum, relying mostly on spacey tranquility and pure ambience.

It is interesting to note that the music, in utmost subtlety, seems bipolar in respect to the two vocalists. Clean vocalist Mehdi Safa (*shels) utilizes a middle to high ranged crooning, that almost synchs perfectly with the gentler side of the instrumentals. His phrasing is very legato, gliding through the musical sections very smoothly. Musical sections that tend to be single-guitar oriented, and fingerpicked whenever Safa wields the mic. In contrast, harsh vocalist Ed Gibbs has a mid-ranged throaty growl, exactly as he has performing in Devil Sold His Soul. Gibbs is not featured as much throughout but whenever he is, the music again corresponds. The guitar work becomes centrally dual-oriented with crushing chords, underlined with distortion or static.

The majority of the music stays at a steady but pumping adagio tempo, usually assisted by Tom Harriman’s persistent cymbal/snare oriented beats. The drumming is rather simple but works well against the open tone of each song (notice the lack of driving double bass beats). There is no unnecessary over-technicality, which could have hindered the main objective of the album. Very simple little accoutrements added throughout, such as the brief ethereal key intro to “California,” make this album all the more enjoyable.

Overall, the major highlight of the album is the emotions it incites and the imagery it creates. I’ve always had an admiration for these bands in their ability to incite both hopefulness and hopelessness simultaneously...as I mentioned earlier. Especially in the dynamic buildups, you can feel a sense of long-yearned liberation…or could it be inescapable confinement, hence my imagery in the introduction. We are more or less left with an unknown…an interpretation left for ourselves. But the rather lonely and dark feeling is undeniably the most prevailing. I think when Mahumodo split up, Devil Sold His Soul took the hopeless end while *shels took the more hopeful. But again, this is more open to the individual listener’s interpretation.

There isn’t really any standout track in the album. It is meant to be listened entirely and works well as a collective. Devil Sold His Soul and *shels have both released more refined and matured albums (namely their LPs, A Fragile Hope and Sea of the Dying Dhow respectively), but Mahumodo is a great display of how it all started. It is very enjoyable, especially in that it is nearly identical in the veins of both bands. If you are a fan of either, this will no doubt be something of your interest.



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user ratings (45)
Chart.
3.9
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
IAmInsect
September 11th 2008


3799 Comments


good review, this sounds awesome

jrowa001
September 11th 2008


8750 Comments


i used to have this, but i couldnt really get into it. it def had some good elements of post-metal but it didnt stick with me. good review

rid
September 11th 2008


66 Comments


I like April's.

jrowa001
September 11th 2008


8750 Comments


maybe ill give this another shot sometime

spoon_of_grimbo
September 11th 2008


2241 Comments


i might be wrong, but i'm almost sure Ed wasn't in mahumodo, he joined some of the other 'modo guys to form DSHS.

great review though, this is a pretty awesome album, not as good as the bands they went on to form, but still pretty good. i think they've just re-released this actually.

Doppelganger
September 11th 2008


3124 Comments


not a big fan of this album

SnackaryBinx
September 11th 2008


2309 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I want all the post-metal I can get, I'll check this out soon.

EndlessClockwork
September 11th 2008


53 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Spoon, I'll look more into Gibbs, and edit accordingly. He does sound a lot like him though.

And yeah if you've already heard DSHS or shels, you might be disappointed; this is just a good leeway into those.

TheSpirit
January 24th 2010


17990 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

so good.

Digging: The Speed of Sound in Seawater - Red Version

FigNewtns
February 21st 2010


727 Comments


good review. i love *shels & Devil Sold His Soul & am looking forward to listening to the parent band.

Fugue
February 21st 2010


7354 Comments


This is good. Not quite as good as DSHS though. Still yet to hear shels.

Digging: Damien Rice - My Favourite Faded Fantasy

FigNewtns
February 21st 2010


727 Comments


go do that now.

TheSpirit
June 6th 2010


17990 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I wish these guys came out with a new album. They need to reunite.

Relinquished
June 6th 2010


25581 Comments


at least we got *shels

TheSpirit
June 6th 2010


17990 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

True. They need to put out a new album too

Photon
November 25th 2010


1292 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

all three bands are amazing

TheSpirit
September 21st 2012


17990 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Still can't believe how relatively unknown these guys are around here

ChuckyTruant
April 7th 2013


15725 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

so beautiful

zakalwe
March 20th 2014


8876 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Some of the best stuff is forgotten stuff.

Digging: King Buzzo - This Machine Kills Artists

tommygun
March 20th 2014


25134 Comments


wat is this

Digging: Banks - Goddess



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