An unholy trinity who sound so much like Black Sabbath you wouldn’t be surprised if they bit the heads off bats and all had wives called Sharon – Glasgow’s Holy Mountain are something of a one-trick pony. Or should that be war horse?
A band that clearly eats, sleeps and breathes Sabbath, their (largely) instrumental approach gives the impression you’re listening to long forgotten B-sides of Ozzy Osbourne’s iconic heavy-metal group, minus the Prince Of Darkness’ distinctive vocals.
Nevertheless, sporting greasy (matching) tank tops, and with their tattoos almost slipping onto the stage due to the amount of sweat exerted, visually, all three lads look like they make a few bucks on the side checking oil in the backwoods of some Texas gas station.
Half-an-hour late in taking to the stage, then, and welcomed on by BBC Radio Scotland presenter Vic Galloway – whose over-the-top cheerleading introduction was, in the grand scheme of things, wholly unnecessary considering there were only around 50 people in the room – the doom-laden sludge of Holy Mountain’s music battered by for a further 30 minutes in furious, unrepentant fashion.
Long hair flailed, the devil’s horn (hand) sign was delivered at various points, and, to be fair, the trio’s telepathic communication with one another at least showcased their tightness of precision.
For the most part, though, Holy Mountain were intent on pleasing themselves.
Fans of black T-shirts certainly liked what they were hearing; however, it was humorous to note the young, glammed-up women accommodating the karaoke rooms in another section of the venue seemed either perplexed or mildly amused by the occasion when making their way to the bar.
In any case, perhaps the most unsurprising part of the evening came during the end of the band’s set, when they made off with a rendition of – yes, you guessed it – a Black Sabbath song. In this case, War Pigs, which apart from the grotty vocal, was a fine representation of the Sabbath classic. Make no mistake, Holy Mountain certainly possess the makings of a good heavy rock band – they just need to establish an identity of their own first.