This brief live set from Swedish melodic metal band Silver Mountain was originally released in 1986 and is now part of Metal Mind Productions reissue program. Recorded in Japan on October 10, 1985, Hibiya-Live in Japan '85 is a spirited set from the Swede's, who, as always, were led by the mercurial guitar talents of Jonas Hansson, one of the 80's most underrated players. The line-up is rounded out by singer Christer Mentzer, drummer Marten Hedener, bassist Per Stadin, and keyboard player Mats Olausson, and the band tear into a seven song set made up of songs from their first two albums.
Though it's not a very good sounding live album sonically speaking, the performances are top notch. "Shakin' Brains" and "Universe" rock hard and contain plenty of anthemic choruses and wicked guitar solos from Hansson. "Always" lets Olausson layer the landscape with heaping amounts of orchestral synths and raging organ, but he gives way to Hansson on the guitar driven rocker "Why", showing that Yngwie Malmsteen and John Norum were not the only guitar gods to come from Sweden. His mix of tender passages and searing shred on "Handled Roughly" is nothing short of jaw-dropping, and the neo-classical unison lines shared with Olausson on the speedy "Meaningless" equally impresses. The band rounds out the set with the dark yet symphonic "Walking In The Shadow", a great song that unfortunately suffers from poor sound.
If you are a fan of the brief career of Silver Mountain, this will be a must have for your collection. The sound quality isn't the best, so I'm guessing Metal Mind didn't have much to work with when they went to remaster the original recording, and the set is rather short at 34 minutes, but it's a good performance and shows a solid band that unfortunately slipped through the cracks for many metal fans back in the 80's.
01. Shakin' Brains
05. Handled Roughly
07. Walking In The Shadow