Smoke Mountain – ‘Self Titled’

Introducing Smoke Mountain’s self titled 3 track EP, released on May 1st. From Tallahassee, Florida, female fronted stoner/doomsters Smoke Mountain formed in 2015 and plan a full-length album this year.

Demon – Bizarre intro there, consisting of an oration about the world of witches and witchcraft, demonstrating the misguided beliefs still held about it by some. Launching straight into the song, following the public address, it’s standard stoner/doom rock filler, conveyed through decent enough vocals, with more percussion elements than usual. Slightly tinny, but adequate background material.

Violent Night – Growing darker and heavier, this is heading in the right direction for its own aims and for doom/stoner fans, looking to drown out the world. There’s an obvious improvement in the quality here, even injecting a noticeable nod to Sab’s ‘Snowblind’ in there. It’s slightly repetitive and could definitely do with more work on the verses, but sound-wise, it’s along the right lines.

Smoke Mountain – Getting there now, it’s becoming progressively doomier.  There’s an undeniable darkness and clear efforts in performance terms, but don’t get too excited, as it still lacks that spark of life. Samey beat throughout, which, in itself, could make an obvious difference, with some variations thrown in. On a positive note, Sarah hits some fairly difficult notes well and her voice is well-suited to the genre. The repetitive choruses do let it down, though, as do the monotonous instrumentals, which could benefit hugely, from being livened up, with a few key changes and some tempo alternations, here and there.

Overall – An adequate effort, which would work okay as background noise, but definitely all filler, no killer. In the right hands, stoner/doom can be exciting, inspiring, uplifting and fun. In those terms alone, I think ‘S.M.’ has missed the point. Doom metal doesn’t have to be doom inducing.

5/10 *****

For fans of generic doom/stoner metal and female fronted Brit-rock, such as Garbage.


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