It's hard to mention "Endless skies" without making reference to Mangrove's fellow countrymen The Quill, as some aspects of this album could sit very comfortably on any release by the aforementioned quartet. Just like the genre stalwarts, this Stockholm trio are to be commended for striving to keep their output a bit more inventive by showcasing a hard-rock sensibility while generally remaining within the confines of stoner conventions. It works well in that it offers a good deal more variety than a lot of the third-rate genre bands out there who opt for the mind-numbing two-riffs-and-one-beat in a six-minute song approach. With Mangrove we get melody, dischord, simplicity and intricacy, stoner, doom, hard-rock and metal in one neat package. It's not really too far away from a lighter version of Norwegian doomrockers Sahg. Frontman Jani Kataja is easily one of the best vocalists in the game and it's this quality that helps raise Mangrove's debut above the bar in a class that, despite brimming with top-notch bands, sports a style that never really varies that much. Steeped in a passion for '70s psychedelia, Mangrove don't seem like they're ready to enter the 21st Century anytime soon and, for fans of this type of stoner-based nostalgia, this can only be a good thing.
- John Norby