Mamorlis took a risk naming their upcoming album Sturdy as an Oak. The jokes write themselves, and the Portland heavy metal group lean into them, but the title speaks to their firm base. Their shaft is rock solid, coursing with red-blooded fury, and primed to burst on their new single “Salamandastron,” which we’re premiering here ahead of their sophomore record’s release on March 8.

...

...

The group, who feature members of Ænigmatum, play traditional heavy metal as by-the-books as you can without plagiarizing the scriptures. Luckily, it’s a good book, timeless even, and Mamorlis prove that heavy metal’s spirit will likely outlive us all. They draw upon qualities that have remained since the genre’s infant years. The vocals could fill an arena, the twin guitars plunder, and the bass needs to be put on a leash before it bites someone. Mamorlis are ardent students of the trade but “Salamandastron” is more than a revivalist piece.

The track begins with a proto-doom metal crawl, then adds in a church organ. The pipes set the stage for Mamorlis indulging themselves in galloping riffs. This introduction is paramount to “Salamandastron,” as it upgrades the track into a fittingly epic tribute to Brian Jacques’ fantasy series Redwall. Mamorlis named the song after the eighth chronological book and it’s not the only property they reference on Sturdy as an Oak. They pay homage to actor Clancy Brown, drunken cavalrymen, and Australian folk tales. They understand that their music needs to be extravagant to do these topics justice, but are disciplined enough to play it straight. All bets are off when it comes to album titles, though.

Mamorlis comments:

"Salamandastron" is a love song to the world of Redwall and its creator, Brian Jacques. 'Eulalia, they all cried o'er the din!'

...

Mamorlis will self-release Sturdy as an Oak on March 8 via Bandcamp, with a EU cassette release by Cursed Ritual.

More From Invisible Oranges