Mountain Of Judgement was a psychedelic / stoner band formed by four guys in North Carolina in 2003 who based on the mighty sounds produced on this disc obviously shared a love of good weed and the spacey music of 70's psyche/ space pioneers Hawkwind. Sadly while Mountain Of Judgement no longer exists (more on that in a bit) the good folks over at RAIG have had the good sense to issue their posthumous debut self titled album containing all the music the band recorded between 2003-2009.
Formed back in 2003 by Scott Cune (bass), Dave Easter (drums), Scott Isenhour (synthesizers) and Chad Davis (guitar, vocals, synthesizers) the recordings which make up this album began back in 2005 but were only completed by Davis last year. As for why it took so long to get this one out to the masses, well Davis' other band U.S. Christmas had a lot to do with it. Fast forwarding to 2009, the other members have gone their separate ways and Davis is left holding the bag (ok, pun intended). He re-recorded the drums himself and re-tooled some of the arrangements and here are the results, six tracks (not including the demos of "The Burning Stone-Neptune's Reign" and "Magic Eye" which appear at the end of the album) that celebrate the almighty power of the riff.
Rarely does the music develop into what I'd consider to be a mid or fast past tempo, as the rhythm section plods along with the thunderous weight of a lumbering mastodon while Davis focuses on creating epic amounts of raw sounding, crushing riffs to move these compositions forward. Great examples of this approach can be found throughout, however tracks like the stellar "Neptune's Reign" (which also features some absolutely brilliant synth washes to help flesh out the sound), "Magic Eye" and "The Witch" with its abundance of monstrous guitar riffs that could have been lovingly lifted off of Black Sabbath's Sabotage album; these are the ones in my opinion that particularly stand out as offering the best examples of what Mountain Of Judgement were all about.
After listening to this disc back to back for a few weeks on and off, it's a shame that this is the one and only release we're going to get from Mountain Of Judgement. One can only hope that if this album garners enough attention then perhaps Davis will see to it that the phoenix will rise out of the ashes for another go round. I don't know, call me crazy but I think when a band like this clearly demonstrates that they're capable of delivering music that is this powerful and captivating, then that music not only needs to be heard, but it's also essential that it continues as well.
1) Neptune's Reign
2) Magic Eye
3) The Witch
4) One Within The Beyond
5) Bringer Of Infinity
7) The Burning Stone – Neptune's Reign
8) Magic Eye