Monday 25 April 2022

Mountain Of Smoke - Imprinted (Album Review)

Release Date:April 22nd 2022. Record Label: Self Released. Format: CD/DD

Imprinted - Tracklisting

1.Imprint 01:39

2.Pain Providers 02:11

3.The Glass King 04:11

4.As We Slept 04:13

5.Tuning 02:15

6.The Weeping Spine 03:46

7.Sleep Now 04:03

8.Funeral of God 03:48

9.Then Came The Strangers 08:10

10.Freeze My Eyes 04:40


Alex Johnson- pedal steel, guitar, synth, and vocals

PJ Costigan- Drums

Brooks Willhoite- bass, guitar, and vocals


Doom/Sludge/Stoner Metallers Mountain Of Smoke have been blazing a trail of bloodied/retired replicants and heavy sludgy grooves over the last few years. With their “Blade Runner” inspired albums and releases, Mountain Of Smoke have become one of the more original bands from the underground scene. Their last proper original “studio” release was 2019’s Future Sins but the band did release a remix album of their second full length album and a covers album as well.

Now the guys are back with Imprinted and the guys have switched their attention to another cult film “Dark City” for their latest album though I believe some themes from Blade Runner are felt within this release. Imprinted is more of an Industrialised Sludge/Stoner Metal adventure with outbursts of manic Punk Rock and Doom Metal sounds.

Opening song Imprint is an Industrial/Punk/Doom Metal/Digi-Hardcore hybrid that reminds me of Author & Punisher and The Mad Capsule Markets for it’s brief 100 seconds run time. There’s a heavy amount of aggression and pissed off vocals on this track plus don’t get me started on the almost 200 miles per hour guitar beats. Well it feels that way.

Second song Pain Providers is the Mountain Smoke that I know and love. Intricate Psychedelic based energy with socially aware lyrics with a deeply flawed science fiction theme. The music airs on the side of Post-Doom/Post-Metal caution but still stands out within the boundaries of Sludge/Stoner Metal.

Third song The Glass King does feel mostly inspired by Dark City within the lyrical department mostly but the electronica sounds are from the world of Blade Runner. This is a weird and surreal cinematic journey with spellbinding vocals and claustrophobic industrial beats. The music is quite nightmarish and is one of the darkest songs on the album. Add some 90s hard-hitting Alt-Rock/Gothic/Alt-Metal sounds and Mountain Of Smoke maybe recovering from a bad trip that Philip K Dick always wrote about. Paranoia reigns supreme on this track and the later stages of the album.

I can’t really go into the remaining seven songs on the album as I will be here all day. However, Mountain Of Smoker carry on with their Paranoia Induced mission by playing their distorted and nightmarish Doom/Sludge/Stoner Metal grooves with twisted Psychedelic vocals and lyrics to match.

The final three songs of the album Funeral Of God, Then Came The Strangers and Freeze My Eyes is my favourite part of the album. As Mountain Of Smoke plays a menacing blend of different styles of music with the music still feeling like a WEEDIAN based album in places. Perhaps very hard to distinguish at first but Mountain Of Smoke have always been fantastic at creating multi-layered levels of music with hidden depth and imagination to it all.

Imprinted is a quite a daring album that offers no easy answers but if you’re on the lookout for a more experimental Doom/Sludge/Stoner Metal album then please spend some time with Mountain Of Smoke. This album is another outstanding release from Mountain Of Smoke. End Of.

Words by Steve Howe


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