Wolfgang Van Halen has released a second album under the moniker Mammoth WVH. The new album, simply entitled Mammoth II, is the follow-up to the 2021, self-titled debut album. Wolfgang Van Halen performed all the instruments and vocals. Mammoth II was recorded at 5150, his late father’s recording studio and produced by Michael “Elvis” Baskette.
Much like the first album, Mammoth II explores new ground. There’s nothing reminiscent to Van Halen. The music is modern and lyrically sophisticated. Some of the musical arrangements are at times progressive yet they manage to keep a melodic feel.
The album opens with “Right,” which features a very Led Zeppelin influence riff, and some fantastic drum work. Wolfgang is definitely an accomplished musician. I hear shades of early Muse on this track. He is a child of the 1990s and the decade to follow.
The current single and video, “Another Celebration At The End Of the World” is fast-paced, high-energy number with pop overtones. The track does feature some great guitar work from Wolfgang. I admire his ability to mix up the styles of his music. No two songs on this album sound like one another.
One of the standout tracks on the album is “Take a Bow.” The song starts out slow and progresses into a solid hard rocker. It features a great vocal performance reminiscent of the late Chris Cornell of Soundgarden and Audioslave. The guitar solo is amazing, and it displays the talents of Wolfgang. This is my favorite track on the album.
“Waiting” is a semi-ballad with a slower pop tempo and it features one of the better vocals on the album. Again, there’s such a diversity of songs on this album and that make it difficult to categorize Mammoth WVH’s sound and I truly admire that.
“I’m Alright” is catchy rock song that has an almost late 90s Kiss feel to it. I love the straight ahead piano which Wolfgang plays. It has an Ian Hunter feel to it. The final track “Better Than You” is a catchy pop tune. Wolfgang delivers a solid melodic vocal and his backing vocals are excellent. It’s a perfect closer for the record.
Mammoth has carved out an interesting musical path. Wolfgang has chosen not to recapture the sound of Van Halen, and I find that thoroughly entertaining. If fans are expecting another Eddie Van Halen, then they may be disappointed. Wolfgang Van Halen is his own man who is exploring his own musical journey and I respect that quite a lot. An artist has to create their own art; not simply replicate the past.
Mammoth II features a vast variety of songs written and performed by Wolfgang Van Halen. He is an extremely talented writer artist. One can only imagine how fun it must be to record entirely on your own. I’ve been blessed to see Mammoth WVH live a couple of times. Wolfgang has assembled a talented touring band, so I highly recommend that you pick up this fantastic album and try to catch the band live.
~ JoJo Anthony