You can’t always judge an album by its cover, unless you see corpsepaint, inverted crucifixes, and spikes, in which case your assumptions are probably justified. The cover for Bloodlust EP by Vancouver’s The Mountain Man, however, looks like it could be the cover for some stoner/sludge metal band. This really couldn’t be further from the truth, though, as the music on this EP has very little in common with that scene.
The title track, “Bloodlust,” took me by complete surprise; instead of blues-based, slower than molasses stoner riffs, fierce The Black Dahlia Murder-esque metalcore came blasting out of my speakers. There are hints of melodic death metal (similar to At The Gates) in the riffs, but The Mountain Man also likes to throw in some pretty savage breakdowns, as can be heard on “Open Graves.” “Backhand Of God” and “Ghost” are a little closer to what I was expecting, particularly “Backhand Of God,” which has some truly Black Sabbath-worthy riffs, and moves at a glacial pace.
Bloodlust EP is a harsh sounding record, with a somewhat raw production. The slower moments could have used a little cleaning up in the mixing and mastering, since the lo-fi sound lightens the blow of the heavy riffs just a bit. Overall, though, The Mountain Man have put together a pretty enjoyable record, with some truly brutal moments. If you like The Black Dahlia Murder, but wish they had a little bit of a murkier tone, check Bloodlust EP by The Mountain Man.