MOUNTAIN DUST – Seven Storms

Rating: 4/5
Distributor/label: https://kozmik-artifactz.com
Released: 2018
Buy Album: https://mountaindust.bandcamp.com
Band Website: https://www.facebook.com/MountainDust/

Band line-up:

Brendan Mainville
Hal Jaques
Blair Youngblut
Patrick Bennett
The spirit of Ken Kiggins

Tracklisting:

1. Seven Storms
2. White Bluffs
3. Turn You In
4. Inside The Rift
5. You Could
6. Into The Depths
7. Witness Marks
8. Old Chills
9. Stop Screaming

Review:

Mountain Dust are a Montreal stoner/heavy rock band who have taken inspiration from music of the late 60s, early 70s and even Spaghetti Western scores. Their sophomore album ‘Seven Storms’ was released last year. It features even more diverse instrumentation and a stronger songwriting prowess than their 2016 debut ‘Nine Years’, which achieved a great reception worldwide and secured them a deal with the German label Kozmik Artifactz. 

You may think a band that merges classic rock grooves, doom metal riffs, modern rock vocals and bluesy and even slightly jazzy synth organs would sound weird as hell, but everything comes across as completely natural. The keys turn the band from a perfectly reasonable one to an admirable one that pushes the boundaries without sounding pretentious or without softening the sound. The contrasts between relatively light and chilled out rock’n’roll and somewhat malevolent, crushing power chords and menacing intervals work really well. Well enough to justify bringing back past musical styles so as to give them a new twist.

Despite the Sabbath influences, don’t expect the ability to write ultra catchy riffs, here. Whilst the traditional instruments are expertly embellished and the musicians work together to achieve a common ambitious, somewhat psychedelic goal, the individual parts don’t stick in one’s head in the same way timeless classics such as ‘Into the Void’ or even the simpler ‘Paranoid’ do. Perhaps unfortunately for some, guitar solos and stylish drum fills whilst not non-existent, don’t seem to be valued too much. If they were, the problem with a lack of catchiness could have been at least partly compensated. 

In conclusion, this album is full of colour and well written, but if the band focused more on how to perfect simplicity, rather than putting so much effort into sophistication, the end result would have most likely been stronger. That’s not to say these guys can’t compose good riffs; ‘Turn You In’ for example has a cool descending guitar line that even Pink Floyd would appreciate. For whatever reason, I really enjoy the guitars in ‘Inside the Rift’, and for me the song is a bit of a gem. Buy this album if you wished 60s music was heavier or if you like a little experimentation. Recommended!

Review by Simon Wiedemann
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