Anguish - Mountain (Dark Descent Records)

Powerful doom...
Release Date: 
12 Nov 2014 - 12:30am

Following (relatively) hot on the heels of their 2012 debut Through the Archdemon's Head, Anguish present us with Mountain; and rather good it is too. The intro, cleverly titled as Intro, has an almost proggy feel to it with the guitars of Christoffer and David (they both play bass too) providing some fine ambient feels. Suddenly the intro is over and vocalist J.Dee is growling over some weighty, well produced doom in the form of Makarian Furnace. Dee's vocal is solid with a slightly rough edge to it and I'm really digging it. Apparently he created an entire fictious religion (aren't they all?) based on Siugnah (an anagram of the band's name) when they were making their debut and the story continues with Mountain. The shifting tempos on here create excellent contrasts within each track and the drums are bloody good (I doff my cap to Rasmus); to cap it off I also detect a splash of cowbell at one point. Lovely.

Stir Up the Demon chugs along, slow and heavy, and the music definitely gives the impression of a story being told (which it is). Some lone bass peeks through and I'm already suitably impressed with the album so far. One of the good things about Mountain is that although there's a narrative, it doesn't get in the way of each tune standing on its own merit. The haunting Master of Peak's Fall starts with the obligatory slow pick and splash of cymbal before morphing into some raunchy doom goodness; it's all very dramatic and theatrical. Again, Rasmus does a brilliant job on the skins - and the switching melodies, which appear to be a hallmark of Anguish's compositions, prevent 'doom fatigue' from spoiling the pleasure (which is good because quite a few tracks on here push well past the six and seven minute mark).

The atmospheric guitars and fat doom riffage continues with Decomposer of Planets with thousands of hammer-ons and spooky whispered vocals. Nurse! I'm afraid! Luckily The Woven Shield opens with some fat bass, which calms me down no end (that and the handful of valium). Some of the lyrics are delivered in a strange metre against the drums but it seems to work OK - and the restraint exercised about three minutes in is genius; an atmospheric pause with howling etc. The guitars continue the howling theme with Void before switching to that doomy chug that we know and love. You can't help but nod along to the riff - and there are some more bass sections too! The fun ends with final track Snowhammer with some delightful organ to compliment the thick guitars and throaty vocals that are flying all over the place. Bloody good stuff.