Wednesday, 5 October 2016
LORD MOUNTAIN ~ LORD MOUNTAIN .... review
UK's 70's progressive blues rockers Wishbone Ash's mix of folk, blues and hard rock, coloured by the twin harmonies of guitarists Andy Powell and Ted Turner, was a totally unique sound and groove that to this day has not come close to being replicated so when a band cite Wishbone Ash's name among the usual influences of Sabbath, Pentagram and Judas Priest then that band are going to invite Desert Psychlist's interest.
Lord Mountain, Jesse Swanson-guitars/vocals, Sean Serrano-guitars, Andy Chism-bass and Pat Moore-drums, are not, by any stretch of the imagination, Wishbone Ash sound-a-likes but do utilise a similar twin guitar harmonic attack that sees six-stringers Swanson and Serrano trading harmonic runs and solo's over a backdrop of proto tinted doom rhythms all of which can be heard on the bands debut EP "Lord Mountain"
First track "Fenrir", is an ode to a monstrous wolf of Norse legend and begins with a galloping NWOBHM groove before shifting into a mid-paced dark Sabbathian riff over which Swanson's rich clean vocal tones are laid. Swanson and Serrano overlay Chism and Moore's solid and tight rhythmic thunder with a mix of differing guitar colouring that sees Iommi like vibrato and bluesy pentatonics going head to head around the songs slightly proto-doom core.
"Dying World" opens with Andy Chism laying down a deliciously gnarly bass line that is then joined by drums and controlled guitar feedback before falling into an atmospheric doomy blues groove coated in a superb Swanson vocal. Lyrically a tale of conflict and strife based around a loose anti-religious theme the song touches base in many places with Black Sabbath's "War Pigs" and could almost be considered a "sister" song to that iconic tome, differing only in that it's theme of control and manipulation is taken from a viewpoint of religious control as opposed to political.
"Under The Mountain" has an almost Lord of The Rings lyrical quality with the songs main vocal refrain "the hammer strikes the stone" conjuring an image of Tolkien's dwarves forging armoury in a deep stone mountain mine. The songs chugging proto/stoner doom groove is further enhanced by a scorching bluesy guitar solo that takes it to the fade.
"Tomb Of The Eagle" closes the EP and is an instrumental piece that sees Swanson and Serrano once again trading off solo's, harmonies, motifs and riffs over a slightly more upbeat rhythmic proto-metal groove, the two guitarists channelling, through their fret boards, not only the spirit of the aforementioned Wishbone Ash but also the Celtic tinted harmonies of Thin Lizzy's Robertson and Gorham.
"Lord Mountain" is a stunning debut EP crammed full to the rafters with all the things fans of the stoner, doom and psych scene would happily sell their souls for.
Check it out .....