The Holy Mountain - Bloodstains Across Your Face In Decline (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

The Holy Mountain

Bloodstains Across Your Face In Decline (2004)

No Idea

There was a day long, long ago. And on this day, God spoke. And He said, "Let there be No Idea Records," and then there was No Idea Records, and it was good. On a later date, someone at No Idea decided to speak, and he said, "Let there be the Holy Mountain, and let them make two records." And then the Holy Mountain made two records, and it was good. In a still later date, somebody had yet another idea, better even than the first two. "Let the Holy Mountain place two records worth of material and two unreleased tracks on one CD," and then the Holy Mountain placed two records worth of material and two unreleased tracks on one CD, and it was good.

The subsequent result, Bloodstains Across Your Face In Decline, is a 16-song collection of everything recorded by the Holy Mountain up to this point, and I for one am upset that I haven't heard anything from these guys yet. Dan of Combatwoundedveteran is covering bass and vocal duties here, and you can definitely see the influence of some of the CWV stylings in both vocals and song structure. That's not to say this is an imitation, however, because the Holy Mountain do their own hardcore thing, and to their credit, they do it very well. There's a real stripped-down feel here production wise, but it benefits the sound of every pummeling drum fill and shouted or screamed vocal, as they frequently go back and forth between the two styles. Heavily drawing influence from Tragedy and From Ashes Rise, the Holy Mountain use that as nothing more than a guiding template, and throw their own spin on things to absolutely knock you on your ass. These guys scream and shout their way through the album's duration, but still throw in gang vocals quite a bit, managing to please fans of hardcore, thrash, and punk all at the very same time. None of this would be executed as well, however, if they weren't sound musically. Luckily, this not the situation.

There's not a whole lot of technicality here; for the most part, speed seems to be the name of the game, again probably attributed to their thrash influences, but either way it's pulled off well. It's not fast for the sake of being fast, or hard for the sake of being hard, and that gives it some genuine authenticity that many similar bands are lacking. There's some really stellar, driving riffs to be found here. When combined with the back-and-forth screamed vocals, it provides for some really entertaining moments. Usually, this type of music wears on me after a bit, but at only 30 minutes, the album is just hitting its stride by the time it ends. There's not a lot of variety to be found here, but I can't fault them for it because it was obviously never their aim. While variety isn't overly prevalent here, as I said before, things do still maintain interest, and more likely than not, you'll enjoy each track just as much as the last. The guitars shred in every track, the vocals remain on point and passionate, and the drummer is more and more frenzied by the minute. The passionate vocals can really be attributed to the lyrical content, which is heavily rooted in politics. One look at the liner notes will tell you these guys won't be attending a pro-Bush rally anytime soon, and almost every song reflects that, but regardless of political biases, the music remains enjoyable.

Fans of a variety of styles including punk, hardcore, and thrash as mentioned earlier, will really enjoy this collection of songs. If you like your music loud, fast, and passionate, than you can do no wrong with picking up a copy of this. No Idea continues to impress with their signings, and the Holy Mountain are absolutely no exception.