Article By: Damon ‘Gravitoyd’ Caraway ‡ Edited By: Leanne Ridgeway
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.
Monte Luna – Tracklist:
01. The Burning of Elohim
02. Nameless City
03. 6000 Year March
04. Nightmare Frontier
05. Inverted Mountain
06. The End of Beginning
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 stoner 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 that 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 has 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.