For some the number three has something magical. Pythagoras stated that the number three is the first true number. According to the Tao, the number three gives birth to ten thousand things. We say three times is a charm and anyone who can’t count to three is too stupid to shit. In our daily life we act in three ways: in thought, in speech and in action. We eat three times a day and when it’s someone’s birthday we cheer three times. What for Christs’ sake, who got up on the third day after his death, has this all to do with Mountain Tamer?
Mountain Tamer is a Los Angeles trio, Psychosis Ritual is their third album. Released on Heavy Psych Sounds. The third label after Argonauta records and Nasoni. For the sake of completeness, the record is also released in three color variants. Multiply this and you get the number 27, this number … well before I start raving all the way: the review itself.
For those who are familiar with Mountain Tamer’s previous albums, Psychosis Ritual doesn’t offer any new or groundbreaking material which is, in this case, nothing to worry about. I worry more, but that seems to be more rule than the exception lately, about the length of the record. Psychosis Ritual lasts a little longer than 30 minutes. Normally the average length of a guitar solo from a good psych record.
When I listened to the first and also the title track, I thought: “What a horrible track!” If it continues like this, thirty minutes can be very long. This is due to the lousy tempo, but mainly to the vocals of guitarist and singer Andru Hall. It has a sound off its own that you must love or at least like. After listening to the album a few times, Mountain Tamer feels like a fish in water. Fact remains: Psychosis Ritual is a terrible song. The second track, Warlock, opens with a full, fat, fast riff that unfortunately quickly decreases in tempo. Andru Hall’s vocals have changed pleasantly. He screams in full: “You’re mind is mine, alive or dead. You’re mind is mine…. “It grabs you quite by the throat, especially in combination with his distorted guitar playing. At the end, the pace returns from the beginning after a Celtic Frost worthy “Oe”. When the third song Turoc Maximus Antonis starts, I get the unpleasant feeling from the beginning again. The song doesn’t really gets started. It sounds it’s lacking inspiration. I hope Side B of Psychosis Ritual offers more and it does, with gusto!
Scorched Earth immediately starts with an angular, heavy and ungainly riff. Andru has lubricated his throat with unleaded diesel and is screaming about hell and damnation (and back again). Still the same riff rolling over the scorched earth like a steamroller. Death in the Woods starts just as ominously as the previous track. The throttle slows down a bit, both vocally and instrumentally. Again, it is one and the same riff that thunders by at a pleasantly slow pace. Chained sounds a bit oriental. In terms of content, it is again doom and gloom that the clock strikes. The closing track, Black Noise, starts and remains very ominous. Heavy bass sounds, lots of distortions, a slow tempo and that for six minutes. The vocals feel like a slimy eel snaking through and around the instruments. A colleague rightly compared Black Noise with the song The End by the Doors.
In the beginning I was a bit disparaging about the total time of Psychosis Ritual. I take this back for a 100%! After listening I felt run over by a truck and totally lost my ability to breathe. Great album and 30+ minutes is the perfect time for Psychosis Ritual.