(Solitary Poor Nasty Brutish and Short)
Metal, Stoner rock, Sludge
Iron Monkey, Saviours, Metallica
Wow, talk about a band that throws everything at you, Mountainside does just this. The band from Lithuania believe it or not started back in the late nineties and has released only three albums, Distorted (2003), All About Time (2007) and Solitary, Poor, Nasty, Brutish, And Short (2013). We haven't the faintest idea why only three albums were released in this long time span. What we do know is that Solitary, Poor, Nasty, Brutish, And Short is pure metal at heart. The influences are abundant here ranging from old-school metal, stoner rock, doom, progressive and psychedelic. Yes, we realize this sounds like too many genres crammed into one album, but to their credit they make it work.
Rytelis - bass, vocals
Šaras - guitar
Karolis - drums
Ugnius - guitar
1. A passing train awakens the sleeping slayer, 2. hostage, 3. doom is set in stone - 9:54
2. Satanic sonderkommando - 4:58
3. Stokholmo sindromas - 3:10
4. The iron law of oligarchy - 6:43
5. Stone into sand - 3:25
6. Solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short - 7:33
7. Ant mano peties niekas neverks - 5:24
The song titles alone should peak your interest and track one, a three-part song is a blend of grinding sludge with classic metal chops. The guitars are very tight here with a rhythmic speedmetal style. As for the vocals, they are harsh and guttural adding to the amount of sludge that is being thrown at us. The rhythm change at the 5:45 mark is highly contagious and classic metal fans will gravitate to this easily. It sounds like the spawn between Iron Monkey and Metallica. Track two injects more of a stoner rock drive into the metal, it has a Saviours and old Clutch quality about it, and the echo on the vocals just elevates the song.
The third track seems like an intermission type of instrumental, it’s filled with minimal feedback, a lonely guitar, low-sounding drums and what sounds like static spoken word vocals. This leads us to “The Iron Law of Oligarchy” and this one is great. The vocals here are actually normal, not guttural at all; perhaps it’s another band member on vocals, not sure. This song gives off a Sword meets Trouble vibe, very rhythmic with slight metal influences, could be our favorite of the bunch. Now on “Stone into Sand” you’ll feel your adrenaline kick up a notch, it’s a terrific mix of stoner rock and speedmetal, and the background vocals are great, adding some depth to the song. The title track is next up and its 7:33 minutes of tight metallic, stoner groove. The distant death metal vocal that pops up from time to time is a nice touch; it’s a great song to close out the metal onslaught. The last track is more of a feedback ambient instrumental; it’s not bad as it actually soothes your mind.
Mountainside should appeal to many fans that are looking for old-school metal blended into their sludge and stoner rock. Let’s hope they don’t wait too long to release a new album, they have a very exciting formula here and it would be interesting to see where it takes them. - 2/4/2015
Standout Tracks: Satanic sonderkommando, The iron law of oligarchy