SeamountIf you are new to this here name then a) welcome, come on in and b) fair warning that Seamount are not here to shake their dicks for you. Understood? Good. So what are they here to do? Really? Well play some excellent proper doom metal really. End of. Based around the core of guitarist German Tim Schmidt and US vocalist Phil Swanson by this their fifth full length they are a true force to be reckoned with. They have in the combination of classic yet individual, sharp, guitar sound and the idiosyncratic but excellent and expressive vocals a personality that nods respectively to their roots but pushes a fresh energetic style. There might be the odd shake of a tambourine here and there such as on the driving title track but that’s as close to the ‘seventies rock’ resurectionists as they come, and with nary a stoner or a sludge tone in sight they riff on down the heavy rock/metal road. A little Sabbath of course, a little Blue Oyster Cult maybe in their melancholic melodic sensibilities, a certain touch of the NWOBHM open sound but always their own men.

From the opening song ‘Bestial Rising’ there is an edgy quality to Seamount. The interplay between Swanson’s slightly nasal but beautifully enunciated vocals and the urgent guitar is like a cold sweat, an addiction shake that cuts through any bullshit and hits the bone hard. It’s the signature Seamount sound and the production is perfect to bring out the clear, heavy sound. On the semi-acoustic glory of ‘Hold Up The Sun’ I am drawn to a Roky Erickson quality, that almost unhinged but still perfectly, genuinely emotional touch. Words of desire and love and fire, of need, melt into each other and produce a truth that burns like fire held in the hand. With ‘Beautiful Sadness’ we get that Blue Oyster Cult crying guitar breaks over a riff of great energy and bounce. ‘Can’t Escape The Pain ‘ is slow rolling doom metal that pulls from the same dark well that the sadly missed The Gates Of Slumber drew on but Seamount bring their sound to the waters’ edge and it shines black and bright. The quite wonderful ‘Scars Of The Emotional Stuntman’ is a hard hitting bite of doom that has a riff to die for, the kind that will always bring the nod, with raw lyrics and the delivery of someone who has been there.

‘In The End’ deserves an extra non-dick shaking mention. It is a real attitude song; up-tempo compared to the rest as to almost thrash with a superb hook to the riff and melody that forces you to listen to their manifesto rant. Bitter perhaps, cynical, but also real ‘get it off your chest, this is who we are like it or fuck off ‘ blister raising attack. Oh yeah and also a smile raising one in places with some spot on lyrics. Lovely.

They close after that with something I haven’t heard in a while; that slightly funky bass driven, brooding closing song with just the best Buck Dharma early 80s melody he never wrote.

In a year when proper doom has been so underground it’s probably mixed in with the magma, Seamount have risen, proud and unafraid to just do what they do: Their own thing. Their own thing it’s their own brand of doom metal and rock and, honestly, this is their best yet. Just what the doctor ordered.

(9/10 Gizmo)