The Holy Mountain – Bloodstains Across Your Face in Decline (CD)

The Holy Mountain – Bloodstains Across Your Face in Decline / 2004 No Idea / 16 Tracks / / / Reviewed 28 January 2005

The pedigree on The Holy Mountain is impressive, taking members from Combatwoundedveteran and The Blackout Terror, but is “Bloodstains Across Your Face…” any good? Well, the music contained on this disc is beyond brutal, reminiscent of eighties-style hardcore with more than a little metal mixed into the musical stew. As can be expected, tracks burn twice as brightly but only half as long, with the average track length being under two minutes. “Florida” shows Ponch’s incredible range vocal-wise, as well as a brand of harmony that has yet to be seen on “Bloodstains”. However, “The Living Dead & The Rogue States” is a perfect example of a track that would be one of the hardest hitting and political if one could hear what the fuck the singer was screaming. The Holy Mountain does service its fans though and actually puts forward a lyric booklet, but the translation doesn’t seem to affect quite as much when a person is reading them instead of hearing them. Where “It’s not falling apart / It’s long fallen and gone” may be the official tracks for the disc, fat lot of good it does me when I hear ROWWWWWWRRR ROWRRRRR. Where the band seems to be in the grey area as far as it comes to vocals, the strong guitar lines (Gorilla Teeth, especially) are a reason to get excited about The Holy Mountain.

The tracks all seem to be roughly hewn and sometimes intentionally containing errors (or maybe they had only three hours to capture all the tracks in a studio, I’m not really sure), and “Penis Jihad” is a perfect example where a dropped guitar seems completely unintentional. “1932” shows the spontaneous nature of The Holy Mountain: moving from an all-together punk track to a Megadeth/thrash metal solo, The Holy Mountain goes where it pleases and does what it wishes. Covering both Crass and Anti-Cimex during the disc, The Holy Mountain does not sit on their laurels and just do a straight-forward cover of both “Big Hands” and “War Machine”. Rather, The Holy Mountain mixes a proper portion of their own sound with the original track, a choice which works fairly well for them.

A Track like “A Milestone in Human Failure” is the archetypal Holy Mountain track. With lyrics like “You are a fucking joke. A million flags won’t change that. Thousands dead won’t” crammed into one minute, The Holy Mountain are probably the best thing to hit No Idea since Against Me!

Top Tracks: Big Hands, A Milestone in Human Failure

Rating: 6.3/10

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