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'Black Mountain Rising'
(House Of Doom Records)
Release Date: Friday 5th September 2015

Johnny Main

johnny main


Founded in 2010, South Wales Metallers Lifer describe themselves as "Heavy southern tinged Metal with elements of doom/stoner/thrash and even punk. Your mother wouldn't like it but your girlfriend would", which is certainly an interesting description for any band, but if you delve a bit deeper, you can see that's actually a pretty good description of the band and their sound.

The quartet know how to blend different genres together and when you see that their list of influences stretches from Viking Skull, Down, Corrosion Of Conformity side by side with Black Sabbath, Motorhead, Lynyrd Skynyrd and Pantera, then you understand a bit better their cacophony of sounds that are both unique and heavy.

The album is ten songs long and not one pf these numbers looks or feels out of place here. Opening with a double blast of 'Bastard Sons Of Sabbath' and the title track, 'Black Mountain Rising' is a stroke of genius. They're both heavy, both catchy – and both are bloody good songs too! "Surely they didn't burn out by putting their two top tracks on first did they?" I asked myself. Well, it's safe to assume that there was plenty more good stuff to come!

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Moving swiftly on, drummer Greg Ward quickly counts in 'Burn Them Down' that has bass player Sam Jones leading the way in another gloriously frantic number. The track 'Diwedd' couldn't be more different, however. 'Diwedd' (or 'End' to give it its English translation) is an odd number certainly, but it's nonetheless one of the hidden gems here. Placed surreptitiously on the albums mid-point, it's a soft and well played acoustic guitar instrumental that never out status its welcome as it provides a respite from the harder tracks featured. It certainly shows that guitarist Mark Webley has more than the ability to shred on his guitar.

'Shake With The Devil' has Ward throwing out a military style beat whilst Webley lays down some heavy chords. More of a mid-paced number for Lifer, it could be considered to be a full on track for some other bands. The performance from frontman Richard Scrivens is kept in the back of the mix with a somewhat restrained and less aggressive performance compared to some of his other on the album, but he still gives it one hundred percent.

'Sorrow Bloody Sorrow' is another slower number with a murky sounding guitar intro from Webley as Ward lays down an epically heavy drum beat whilst using his drum kit sparingly for maximum effect. It's another instrumental track that shows it's all the power of his performance from both musicians, providing another top moment.

'Wired' picks up the pace again as bass player Sam Jones gets his moment in the spotlight as he leads the way on the intro of another fast paced number before Scrivens unleashes an almighty scream as the drums and guitar kick in. 'Words To The Wise', on the other hand, allows Webley to show his metal credentials once again as he punctuates the main guitar riff early on with some excellent guitar riffing. Scrivens also delivers one of his standout performances here, and this surely has to be a future classic for the band.

All in all, there's a lot to like about this album, and it seems to be a turning point for the band. I'd heard good things about the band from a number of influential friends, and it proved to be exactly what I was told it was - a strong album from a band who really have the motivation and the talent to go far.

'Black Mountain Rising' Tracklist:
Bastard Sons Of Sabbath
Black Mountain Rising
Burn Them Down
Cease To Exist
Shake With The Devil
Sorrow Bloody Sorrow
Words To The Wise
Year Of The Hog

Lifer are:
Richard Scrivens – Vocals
Mark Webley – Guitar
Sam Jones – Bass Guitar
Greg Ward – Drums

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