Mt Mountain’s full length Golden Rise is one of the most uncomplicatedly enjoyable listening experiences I’ve had in a while.
Psychedelic in the best sense, Golden Rise dispenses with any of the indulgent complications of prog, building 10 mantra-like experiences from fairly simple textures: driving distortion (the defining feature of RTR favourite Cathedral), liberal use of the wah pedal, reverb and delay, coupled with a deft sense of dynamics from the rhythm section and welcome dashes of Hammond organ and wind instrumentation.
If the ingredients are simple, the results are genuinely hypnotic. The vocals, often subtly layered, manage to be both envelopingly warm and hermetically detached. Lyrically, the snatches of apparently conventional sentiment (love, loss, and perhaps gentle spite) seem to break and give way to a mystical elementalism, nowhere more focused than the solar trilogy of Golden Rise, Alectrona and Sun Sloom. The dreamy, sun-worshipping textures and interlocking themes (Alectrona is the Ancient Greek goddess of the dawn, almost synonymic with Golden Rise, a sun “sloom” is a dreamy sleep in the light) read like a codex for a mystery school. The Golden Dawn perhaps?
The album is beautiful, emotive and intellectual. If you’ve only heard Cathedral then you’ve missed a rewarding deep-dive. Golden Rise is undeniably worth a full play through, ideally more than once. Get enlightened!