3 of 4 thought this review was well written
“This isn’t heavy at all!"
…that was my first response to hearing this album. Well not so much the whole album but, the first track Dragonaut but after hearing about a minute of the song I was pretty much hooked, they just kept layering and layering the guitar on. While the bass plays, this flanged type of groove that you wouldn’t see coming from a heavy band... Then it paused and completely changed this riff up, sounding like something very new. Slow and chugging this riff sounds like a train coming down the tracks right at you. The lyrics come in and are just out of this world;
“Ride the dragon toward the crimson eye
Flap the wings under Mars red sky"
A lot of the lyrics on the album really do talk about trekking up this mountain, this “Holy Mountain", and all the strange things they encounter on the way. The music underneath is a swirling, churning dragon that is ripping through the sky and into your brain. The song continues to get denser, with more spaced out lyrics and a guitar solo that sounds like its being sucked into a black hole and fighting just hard enough to hit your ears. It all ends with a jazzy little bass solo.
The next tracks are The Druid and Evil gypsy the druid has almost the same chugging riff as Dragonaut, but has drastically different vocals, but still keeps the same lyrical content
“Far within the oaken tower
Exists the one with evil power"
And features awesome guitar and bass solos. Evil gypsy is one of the heaviest songs on the album and starts with ringing feedback over a very heavy guitar riff. This is probably the most Sabbath-esque song on the album, because it goes off onto a Sabbath style tangent with pounding drums and bass. Eventually producing one of the most “cosmic" solos I have ever heard. Cosmic really is the only way it can be described. Then the song returns to normal with very high-pitched feedback to usher in that bowel churning riff, and some awesome lyrics about what’s inside this mountain;
“Escape the tomb of deadly freeze
to the village of glass we have the keys
Ice people everywhere once inside
At home again the insects ride"
Then the song abruptly comes to an end. The next song quickly comes in and its one of the most surprising pieces of music I have heard. This track is titled Some Grass. Aside from the blatant double meaning (these guys did record a 63 minute song/Album named Dopesmoker) this is a down-home bluegrass fingerpickin’ style song. It is a fun little interlude and a nice break after the ridiculously heavy Evil Gypsy.
Up next is one of my favorite songs on the album, its one of the most upbeat sounding songs in the bands Catalog Aquarian which is a song about being trapped under the ocean, and escaping from Atlantis. I’m not really sure why I love this song so much it just seems like the catchiest one on the album, and I use catchy very loosely. For some reason this song seems very much like something fellow stoner gods Kyuss would record. Or maybe it’s the vocals that sound ALOT like Ozzy Osbourne, or maybe its ridiculous lyrics like:
“Trapped inside a world under leagues of ocean
the clergy arrives with the magic potion"
“Escape the sea with ascending motion
I touch the sun and return to ocean"
Either way it’s a very enjoyable song that ends with some cool Sonar effects.
The next song is the center piece of the album Holy Mountain, This is a very slow doom song that crawls along and really sums up the views of the band perfectly. They talk about leading a stoner revolution. They speak of this on all of there albums but this one really sums it up the most;
“Slumber killed by rays of the new red sun arising
Dreamer wakens to spectral gaze of light rays shining
Black steed carries him across the astral sand"
Well those are rather cryptic lyrics but that’s about as strait forward is it gets…Then the songs slows down even more to a single guitar playing a single clean melody, followed by a severally overdriven bass and guitar riff, and a solo this is actually a unique solo for this album because it is double tracked and that seems to be something Matt Pike Rarely does. Then it’s all wrapped up with:
“Look onto the rays of the new stoner sun rising
Sonic Titan rides out on clouds of new horizon"
The next song is Inside the Sun this songs starts off kind of lame, its got quick upbeat drumming and really weak guitar and bass, the only thing salvaging it is the cool lyrics :
“Travelling toward the atomic sky
Passing through the wall of light we fly
To the center of the sun we go
Discovering secrets no one else has known
Within the center of the galaxy
Away from Earth and all its misery"
Things return to the upbeat style of earlier but the awful drumming is gone, and the awesome lyrics are back, then theirs a decent solo followed by the final lyrics of the song:
“Our ship explodes
our work is done
We've left our lives
inside the sun"
The next to tracks From Beyond and Nains Baptism are slower jam tracks The former is about the “stoner Caravan" returning and ushering in the end of the world:
“Phantasmal specter of two worlds collide
Planetoid soaked in rays of electric light
Stoner caravan from deep space arrives
Rides on the suncraft toward the glowing eye"
it starts off slow with just bass, followed by some fuzzy guitar that churns on almost completely the same for the next few minutes. This is the longest song on the album but it never gets boring or tedious, because it all commutates with a mind melting solo. Then the album closes with Nains Baptism a very slow but cool album closer that brings you down after the high that is the rest of the album, it doesn't feature anything really flashy, and has no lyrics. The best way I can sum this up is the music for the closing credits of a maid for T.V. drama movie.
+ Great music to get “happy" to
+ Really good musicianship
- Crazy lyrics
- Pretty much uses the same vocal melodies the whole time
- Can be a little repetitive