Holy in a different sort of way
There is nothing religious about The Holy Mountain, but the divine quality of this music could easily solicit prayers that this Tampa-based quartet will never stop. “Enemies” is loaded with classic guitar leads and the kind of sheer energy nowhere to be found in music today. Much like 2005’s furiously ragged “Entrails”, the follow-up picks up right where it left off – fast, angry, raw and brilliant. “Enemies” is a true throwback to when hard-core and punk bands were just that. Without pretense and having dialed in a simple mix of hardcore punk and metal, The Holy Mountain render concise, action packed songs, flexing serious muscle, but using catchy hooks at every turn to keep every song tight and focused.Eleven songs in all, comprised of the new “Enemies” EP, the previously released 7″ “Wrath” and two live tracks, this album spews outright thrash from every orifice at every second. The guitar work is blistering, the drumming is precise and Dan’s vocals (the members of the band don’t use last names) are indiscernible screaming at its very best. Throw in the band’s highly politically charged message to boot and you one hell of a high peak here.
It’s not as if Seattle’s grunge godfathers have just now begun to mellow with age, but if “Pearl Jam” is any indication, those trademark, catchy, hooky and explosive Pearl Jam songs may be gone for good. While it is no secret the band sounds vastly different than the raw grunge of “Ten”, and they should nearly 15 years later, “Pearl Jam” feels more like a Tom Petty album than a typical P.J. release. Mysterious and seemingly grumpy frontman Eddie Vedder’s melancholy whispers and the resonant hooks we have come to expect from the quintet are here, but without those solid rockers scattered throughout, the album just reads too slow.Not all bad though; highlights include Vedder tackling thought-provoking topics on “Life Wasted” and “Army Reserve”, and “Inside Job” is filled with energy and almost sounds misplaced on an album with so many lulls. But let’s not pretend one of the most influential bands of the past decade is wading in new water here. If recent albums “Yield”, “Binaural” and “Riot Act” were any indication, the band had begun to lose its edge already, but now it seems all but gone.Vail, Colorado
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