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Mountain God - Solstice Award winner

Mountain God
by Ofer Mashiach at 28 May 2017, 11:27 PM

MOUNTAIN GOD is a Doom/Sludge Metal band hailing from Brooklyn, New York. They formed in 2011, and after two EPs to date, they finally unleashed their debut LP unto the world titled, "Bread Solstice." What we have here is a highly emotional, aptly produced album of Doom-laden Sludge with a psychedelic atmosphere. Sludge suggests filth, and there is plenty of this in here, but it's not as "ugly" as you must expect. Quite the reverse, you are being served with something missing on most Sludge acts – pure class.

This 40-minute, six-track album will leave your mind scarred without you noticing it. To begin with, the overpowering dark and psychedelic atmosphere is so engaging so that you get completely lost in time. The most interesting aspect of this album is that MOUNTAIN GOD keeps things simple. It seems that they almost create big something out of nearly nothing. They don't do anything technical or involved, just plodding, simple (yet heavy) riffs and cathartic choruses. What surprises me the most is that despite numerous repetitions of the riffs in certain sections, you never get tired but instead it penetrates your bones and releases the tension of your sinews and muscles. You don't need to enhance your listening experience with substances; the music itself does it all.

The opening track, "Scaling the Silver Steps," like the other tracks in here, starts slowly and builds up gradually. The omnipresent kind of hiss in the background permeates the space and engulfs you. This encroaching mystic experience is further enhanced when the vocals kicks in around the three minute mark. The vocals are wicked in the best sense of the word – those piercing whispering screams are absolutely evil and they continue to pester you as you continue your journey into the Unknown. Even though the vocals are processed and distorted, those effects only intensify them instead of ruin them.

"Nazca Lines" is arguably the highlight of this album. It starts with an eerie guitar lead and then the kick drum and cymbals fade in a mantra-like fashion. When the vocals enter the scene, they are accompanied by a slower tempo and droning riffs, then doubles in pace in a chugging interlude before the next section. Those whispers that follow really get you immersed, willing to accept the full weight of the guitars. Only after my fourth time through the album, I realized there are no guitar solos whatsoever, but then again, they are totally unnecessary because the album is at peak throughout so you don't even expect any solos. This holds true for the rest of the album.

You can’t go wrong with this album. It is a "shut-up-and-take-my-money" affair. It has everything a Sludge Metal fan could expect, and more. There are elements in here that you didn't know were missing in your life, which makes it a treat you will never forget and that won't leave your stereo.

Songwriting: 10
Originality: 10
Memorability: 9
Production: 10

5 Star Rating

1. Scaling the Silver Steps
2. Nazca Lines
3. Karmic Truth
4. Junglenaut
5. Unknown Ascent
6. Hymn to Nothing
Ryan Smith - Drums, Vocals
Ben Ianuzzi - Guitars, Vocals
Nikhil Kamineni - Bass, Synths, Keyboards
Record Label: Artificial Head Records


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