|Remember how the world looks when Frodo puts on the ring in 'Fellowship of the Ring?' Yeah, it gets all black and white and swirly and scary and tripped out. That's the feeling I get from looking at the cover of Mountain Maker's demo, which features what looks like a Russian Orthodox priest ringing a bell in some kind of weird nightmare world.|
Which is right on, because this group of SoCal doomsters creates music that's both weird and massive. They build on the riffing 'Sabbath tradition, add in some of the best elements from the contemporary doom underground, and create a titanic wall of sound that will crush you like... Uh... Some easily crushed thing. Heh. 'Vow of the Nazarite' begins the festivities with about four minutes of atmospheric power chords and feedback, injecting Tibetan monk vocal nuances to give the music a devotional, almost spiritual feeling, much like you'll find with YOB or Sleep's 'Jerusalem'. Eventually they break into a driving, doomy groove which includes some clean yet rough-edged vocals that are way too far back in the mix. Bring 'em up! This song continues with some rhythmic changeups a la early 'Sabbath, before giving way to the up-tempo instrumental 'Dragonslayer'. At first the song has an almost stoner groove before switching tempos to become more doomy. Insistent, pounding rhythm is the order of the day. The disc ends with 'Mountain Maker', a showcase for 'Volume 4' style monumental riffing. Overall the production is quite good, the songwriting superb, and the playing evocative and emotional. The drums, in particular, are Bill Ward busy, with fills galore.
If you're looking for something new in the world of trad doom, then check out Mountain Maker, along with other new doomsters like Planet Gemini and Starchild. It's great to know that there are misery merchants like these guys waiting in the wings.
1. Vow of the Nazerite
3. Mountain Maker
Duration : Approx. 29 minutes
Visit the Mountain Maker bandpage.