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If you've seen Mammatus clouds in person, you probably noticed the way those massive formations hang heavy like wilting and bulbous grey-blue sacs, bubbling from heaven towards us. As monstrous as they look, these gentle giants curiously are not portents of a storm, they cradle the sky, high above where they belong. How can something so heavy float?
If you've seen Mammatus, the band in concert, you probably noticed how visual their sound is. Guitarist Nicholas Emmert, in one-piece full-body flight-suit, bassist Chris Freels dons space cape, and drummer Aaron Emmert steering the ship, staring straight ahead with flashing laser eyewear. The homespun wizard-cum-trippy dad at a campfire look that they've adopted softens the blow of the heavy aural trickery afoot.
Heady Mental is the perfect title for the third Mammatus album, for it rests heavily in the moldy caverns of heavy metal history, but doesn't get too comfortable there. It quickly shows it's true colors: This is music for flight, music for the sky, and music for the things that lay beyond. These men are searching for the source through sound. Repetitions of themes with variants are spread over four separate songs that act as a whole. This record functions as a soundtrack to the Mammatus Brain. Heavy/Airy, Earth/Sky, Man/Creator, Complete and Grok'd.
If you need the obligatory band reference you could start by imagining what The Fucking Champs IV would have sounded like had they been more into the McLaughlin / Santana LP "Love, Devotion, Surrender" instead of Iron Maiden's "Piece of Mind".