Monday, February 23, 2015
Hollow Mountain on Tall Pat Records
I honestly love Sabbath. Especially throwing any one of those albums from the '70s. They left an unshakable legacy during this time period. It's also catchy and evil and parents hate it. Hollow Mountain are channeling the spirit of big power chords and getting back to the roots of what inspired it; runes, medieval mythology and giant weapons to kill giant stuff.
On A-Side's "Maiden" from the look of this psych neon mountain sleeve I was expecting an influence of early metal, the 70s period stuff not this energetic pop garage basher. Esther is great on vocals against the crazy tight delivery of strung out riffs. She's laid back not trying to outshine any of the skill here just working alongside the rhythm like another part of the whole equation. It's best not fight these tight, concise pieces of guitars that circle the wagons. She's going to keep her cool and not let any of this chaos rattle her. In fact she might just be deliberately holding a lot back in that Kim Gordon detached feel. "Castle" shakes in repeating their opening riff, made up of massive guitars on the heavy side in the way that Fuzz or the Zig Zags are referencing metal. It's all here and they even get a little more laid back finding a groove and leaning into it. Esther works out phrasing that aligns with this chord structure, a little more jagged and could even be heard as post punk with a metal soul. It's beefy, sledgehammer riffs that slide around scales for long drops, the minor chords that can't sound anything but unsettling. Could be related to Sleater Kinney or Bikini Kill if you imagine this coming of age in the pacific northwest. All I know is you can't say this isn't heavy in it's own swaying temple of sludge.
B-Side's "People are Alike All Over" drives toms into another sonic snowplow right through the center of town. It's all about this kind of raw power, wherever they can find the right strength of distortion and depth of bass. Esther finds a kind of rhythmic harmony to deliver her lyrics alongside the sliding barre chords. They're decisively defining every change with cymbal bashes as it takes on a life of it's own. Slowing down for a minute just to come back harder swinging arms in larger windmills, the chunks flying, lightning flashing on the edge of cliffs, hair blowing out behind you. This is a sick video. "Gaia" brings the speed of chords wiping out any rest you had in mind, Esther wisely delivers long drawn out psych vocals about those ancient gods while this hardcore metal works itself into a snarling tempo. She's relating her own vocal to an almost gregorian chant sound, like a private hymn before that suicidal battle or heading off adventuring past where the world just ends. The way it used to drop off like a giant cliff.
Get it from TALL PAT.