Review: Old Mayor ‘Shelter Ceremony Collapse’ EP

Less is more… A strange saying but meaningful nonetheless. Especially when it comes to music. As a guitarist, I’ve tried writing riffs and songs and always overthink them. I know I shouldn’t, but it happens anyway, and I will talk myself out of a potentially good idea. Why am I rambling about my shortcomings as a musician? Old Mayor, that’s why.

Old Mayor 'Shelter Ceremony Collapse'
Old Mayor ‘Shelter Ceremony Collapse’ Artwork

Old Mayor’s Shelter Ceremony Collapse is dubbed the forgotten EP because it was recorded 15 years ago. Music however is timeless and Human Worth released the EP last month to coincide with the final foray of Brighton promoters Tatty Seaside Town who gave Old Mayor their first ever gig. The duo Adam Kammerling (guitar/vocals) and Owen Gildersleeve (drums) crafted the three song EP that’s earth crushingly heavy. The entire runtime is shorter than most songs I listen to but it’s perfect from start to finish. Adding anything else would have only taken away from the intensity proving less really is more.

When the first few notes ring out on opener Shelter, you don’t get a sense of that heaviness immediately, but if you are a fan of Amenra, ISIS or Neurosis, then you know by the clean dark tones of the single guitar notes, you need to brace yourself. Old Mayor don’t make you linger in the tension for long as a little under a minute in, you are knocked out of your seat (assuming you’re sitting!) by the sheer force of the wall of distortion cascading through the speakers. Thunderous drums carry the distortion and distant screams like a tidal wave to your ears.

Slow heavy riffs are fused with pummelling drums…

Old Mayor gives you a break with the near two-and-a-half-minute interlude Ceremony, but only from the powerful riffs. The tension is so high on this track, your skin will crawl. Dark drones with haunting screams from below seep through the cracks created by Shelter and you’ll be begging for the sonic onslaught of closing track Collapse.

There is no lingering tension as Collapse picks up where Shelter left off. Slow heavy riffs are fused with pummelling drums that only slow as the song progresses. Kammerling’s chilling screams are painful as the music creates larger cracks in the Earth. The song closes out with the most painful scream yet that smoothly transitions into the distant cries of the underworld as heard in Ceremony. The music fades into the droning screams as if the duo are sucked into the depths below.

In just a few short minutes, Old Mayor is able to tell a complete story. No need for sequels, prequels or side stories. Shelter Ceremony Collapse is everything it needs to be and props to the musicians for knowing that these three tracks has it all.

Label: Human Worth
Band Links: Bandcamp

Scribed by: Josh Schneider