(By Damon ‘Gravitoyd’ Caraway, Staff Writer, RiffRelevant.com)
Monte Luna are simply a devastating aural onslaught of lyrical and musical emotion, who have surreptitiously risen to the top of the ever-growing doom sludge pool.
This Austin, Texas duo of James Cl (guitar and vocals) and Phil Hook (drums), released their self-titled, full length album. Recorded and mixed in San Antonio, Texas at Matador Studios with Tommy Munter, with the mastering by Chris Fielding at Skyhammer Studio, the Monte Luna volcano erupted on September 2nd.
Flowing lava cracks, smokes, and falls from James CI’s guitar forever changing the forming the landscape of each song. His sound is so fucking heavy; it emanates in tidal-waves of riff-laden anger, it permeates the soul in a live setting (absolutely it does), it entrenches itself in the primal Id of the psyche.
The other half of this power monstrosity of a band is Phil Hook, who bludgeons the skins with the gravity of ten thousand suns and the craving of a nineteenth-century grave-robber surgeon. He is so precise and purposeful with each strike that he is mesmerizing to watch live.
James’ vocals are very versatile. His low-end growls claw nicely along the heavy-laden terrain of the songs and his guttural screams are reminiscent of a metal garbage-lid being drug over unsympathetic boulders.
However, when the song calls for it, his mid and higher range abilities can seem angelic, but convey no happiness. The dire story that James’ vocals, as well as the album, tell is one of a nightmarish reality which has no end, offers no escape, and eradicates hope of any reprieve.
With a confidence not expected this early in a band’s career, Monte Luna have hammered and chiseled, out of the Earth itself, one heavy-ass tombstone that will not have a death date on it for years to come.
Monte Luna – Track List:
- 1. The Burning of Elohim
- 2. Nameless City
- 3. 6000 Year March
- 4. Nightmare Frontier
- 5. Inverted Mountain
- 6. The End of Beginning