MOUNTAIN THRONE – Stormcoven
The debut album from German ‘ancient metal’ quartet Mountain Throne, "Stormcoven" is an 8 song affair that has a boatload of old influence appeal. Clocking in at a tidy 38 minutes and change, the band perform in a manner that crosses the lines between doom, NWOBHM, and epic metal. Feel the devil’s swing in the guitar bends and plodding tempo for "Winter"- a brooding contrast to the bass thumping, exciting riff and rhythm lift for "Priestess of the Old" as vocalist F. delivers chilling melodies with a lot of Pentagram meets Cirith Ungol inflections.
The choices with tones and production quality also reveal a throwback nature- as you feel the rawness of the guitars slice through the mix, the snare and bass drum hits not thrown through the computer filtration system and the group actually put the bass in as important a level as the other instruments. Even when the band takes things down a couple of notches with acoustic guitars for the 6:26 "Where Alchemy Thrived", it’s not done in a commercial way- you still feel this dark cloud hanging about as if Manilla Road and the NWOBHM were in cahoots with each other.
Grand Magus and Twilight of the Gods would be two acts currently playing out that have that similar doom/epic/traditional vibe as Mountain Throne. Even the punky "Morningstar Iconoclast" with its Motorhead charge gives "Stormcoven" a nice dynamic contrast. Overall, I find Mountain Throne very entertaining and a killer reminder of the past coming into the present for all the right reasons.
Raise the sign high, Germany reigns supreme again!