Monday, 30 March 2020

ALBUM REVIEW: Phantom Hound, "Mountain Pass"

By: Richard Maw

Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 28/03/2020
Label: Independent

“Mountain Pass” DD//LP track listing:

1). The Northern Face
2). Thunder Am I
3). Irons in the Fire
4). You Don’t Know Death
5). Grace of an Angel
6). Mountain Pass
7). Devil Blues
8). The Southern Face

The Review:

American trio Phantom Hound present a sound some way between Soundgarden and stoner/doom bands like Sixty-Watt Shaman and Roadsaw. You get eight tracks of blues inflected grooving rock.

Opener “The Northern Face” sums up the band's sound pretty well, while “Thunder I Am” is a solid slab with some time changes and extensive solo passages. The solo sections favour the strict trio format- no rhythm guitar under it. The guitar sound is a treat- thick and fuzzed out, although the drums are a little lacking in power. The sound is raw and live, but the drums are a little thin sounding.

No matter, there is nothing wrong with the playing at all and the material is uniformly strong throughout. “You Don't Know Death” is a fine track and then “Grace Of An Angel” brings acoustic guitars and bridges the first half of the album with the second. The epic title track is eight minutes plus of downbeat Soundgarden-esque rock but it is bettered, in my view, by “Devil Blues” which is a wonderfully dynamic track with excellent guitar work.

“The Southern Face” closes the album out with close to eight minutes of very dark rock, the driving main section is effective and very strong. Overall, this is a solid release of stoner rock that is as American as apple pie. If you like any of the bands mentioned above, give this a try. I assume you've got some time on your hands currently to do just that!

“Mountain Pass” is available HERE

Band info: bandcamp || facebook