Mountain of Smoke
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Mountain of Smoke

Dallas, Texas, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2013

Dallas, Texas, United States
Established on Jan, 2013
Band Metal Doom Metal


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Gods of Biomechanics"

Crush wins the day quickly on Mountain of Smoke‘s second album, Gods of Biomechanics. The Dallas-area duo of bassist/vocalist Brooks and drummer PJ bludgeon efficiently on the 10-track/33-minute outing, and expand their lineup through working with pedal steel guitarist Alex, filling out the bass/drum sound with an atmospheric breadth that can be heard on songs like “Caesium Beams,” making the material all the more memorable as well as being brutal and extreme. As with their 2014 self-titled debut, which was issued through Do for It Records, the theme that ties all the songs together is drawn from Ridley Scott’s 1982 sci-noir classic Blade Runner. Songs are based around the story of Ray Batty (Rutger Hauer) and named after characters from the film — “Leon,” “Tyrell,” “Zhora” — and as the band already seem to have covered the main characters in their debut with “Decker,” “Rachel,” “Pris,” and so on, and they also begin to dig into ideas expressed in the movie, places or other elements.

Accordingly, we get “Tannhauser Gate” which is mentioned in a sample of Rutger Hauer at the end of the subsequent and pummeling “Orion’s Shoulder,” “Incept” referring to the concept of when a replicant is ‘born,’ and “Retirement” for when they’re killed. Samples from the film — which I’m just going to assume everyone reading this watched at least once when they were in their 20s — are sprinkled throughout, providing transitions and making sure that Mountain of Smoke stick with the plot, as it were. In addition to giving the audience something to latch onto for a record that, put to tape by Michael Briggs at Civil Audio in Denton, TX, both bludgeoning in its execution and largely indecipherable on first listen when it comes to the blown-out growls that serve for most of the vocals, the theme also lends aesthetic nuance to Mountain of Smoke‘s sound, which if the point hasn’t gotten across yet, is anything but subtle.

Rather, it is a style built for volume. The litmus test for duo-violence used to be Black Cobra and I suppose now it’s probably Germany’s Mantar. For what it’s worth, Mountain of Smoke have more in common with the latter than the former in terms of their overall approach, though of course it varies. Less outwardly thrash, they’re nonetheless given to driving moments throughout Gods of Biomechanics, whether it’s the closing title-track, the rush of “Tannhauser Gate” or the stabbing verse of “Retirement.” Amid the thrust come massive rolling grooves. Massive, as in, of mass. From the moment “Incept” picks up from its leadoff sample at the album’s open, its huge low end plod becomes as much of a running theme as the film itself. That instrumental opener leads way via another sample — just of the score — into “Tannhauser Gate,” which revels in its thrust and brashness. Who could argue? Like much of the record, it’s a speaker-blower, and the pedal steel shows itself pivotal as well when it comes to adding a sense of space to the proceedings.

mountain of smoke

That too will become more and more apparent as the rest of Gods of Biomechancis plays out, through “Orion’s Shoulder” and “Caesium Beams” and the High on Fire-worthy bombast of “Zhora,” and into side B on “Retirement,” “Leon,” “Tyrell” and the title-track. So really just everywhere save perhaps “Incept” and its counterpart “Morphology” which gives the second half of the album its own instrumental launch. I don’t know how full-time a member of the band Alex will be, if the two-piece has become a trio, but his work winds up being crucial here just the same. As mentioned, the pedal steel adds breadth and a sense of space to the songs, but it also works in concert with the Blade Runner theme, since with the echo behind it and often played in sustained notes, it cuts a direct line to the kinds of otherworldly melodies Vangelis brought to the original film’s soundtrack. That was largely synthesized, but if one thinks of it on an interpretive level, the comparison holds up.

And the effect that has on making Gods of Biomechanics seem all the more complete in terms of concept and delivery isn’t to be understated. Mountain of Smoke‘s first offering was rawer and hit with plenty of force, but was more abrasive and not nearly so methodical. Gods of Biomechanics mounts its attack with some feeling of calculation behind it. The band aren’t simply crashing through the wall, they’re sneaking around it — though one hesitates to use a work like “sneaking” when it comes to something so obviously meant to be played as loudly as possible. Either way, not to be lost in all the holy-crap-this-is-heavy hyperbole that’s sure to be tossed the album’s way is the fact that Mountain of Smoke‘s sound isn’t just about bearing an inhuman amount of heft, or about describing scenes from a movie, but about entering a creative conversation with that work, and the pedal steel, siren-like at the start of “Retirement” or riding the fury of Brooks‘ riff on “Leon,” is a major part of what allows it to do so.

Its inclusion feels organic — as opposed to it feeling android, I guess — as an extension of the band’s overarching purpose, and as they slam into “Tyrell” and “Gods of Biomechanics” at the record’s back end, the statement they seem to be making not only engages with its subject matter, but brings it to life in a new, fascinating and oddly appropriate way. The risk with bands working on a single-theme as Mountain of Smoke are is that, at a certain point, they might run out of things to talk about once all the characters and ideas from the movie are covered. Would they write a song about the 2017 sequel? The sans-monologue directors cut version of the original? I don’t know, but they wouldn’t be the first group to come up against that issue, say screw it, and successfully move on to other thematic ground, so maybe I’m worrying about nothing. More important for the moment is the success throughout Gods of Biomechanics in putting their listeners in that always-dark, always-raining world where the threat always seems to be present and the danger always seems to be right there waiting. So too is the case here as Mountain of Smoke dream of electric sheep and awaken to be unbridled in their aural instensity. - The Obelisk

"Gods of Biomechanics"

Making an album on seminal classic science fiction film Blade Runner is mighty bold and impressive by anyone’s standards. However doing another album based on the same film is downright insane. Who could pull such a task off. Well, Mountains Of Smoke for a start. The hard edged Sludge/Stoner Metallers are back with their new album – Gods OF Biomechanics.

An intriguing and thrilling progressive album that takes many themes from the landmark movie and adds a nightmarish surreal industrial Doom/Sludge/Stoner Metal sound with hints of warped electronica. The opening two tracks Incept and Tannhäuser Gate is what you expect from the band with fast-paced drone like riffs weaving psychedelic sounds into the realm of Blade Runner.

The vocals from Brooks are heavily digitised which is natural for an album such as this. Mountain Of Smoke have devilish fun blending the ideas of the movie against a backdrop of heavy Doom/Sludge based themes. Mountain Of Smoke already tried this idea on their self-titled debut album back in 2014. I remember listening to the album back then. I remember not being fully sold on the whole concept and sound of the album.

However I have no such problems with Gods Of Biomechanics as Mountain Of Smoke have created an album that captures the dystopian tone of the classic movie. The heavy industrial sounds and bleak lyrics may leave you feel slightly down but the frantic punk based energy of Orion’s Shoulder and Caesium Beams show a band not afraid to experiment with their sound.

Maybe the album is partially influenced by Nine Inch Nails and Author & Punisher as the heavy industrial sounds start to overpower the Doom/Sludge/Stoner Metal vibes that appear on the early stages of the album.

Mountain Of Smoke have included a high amount of samples from the movie and they appear throughout the album, including the legendary “Tears in Rain” monologue. Mountain Of Smoke deserve credit for trying something different with this album. it’s not the most easiest album to listen to as there is a lot going on. The songwriting is good but there are a few songs that don’t quite work as they possibly should. However the heavy industrial music and mechanical stylised vocals save the day.

The real question that needs to be asked is: Who short first – Han or Greedo. Damn, Sorry, wrong Harrison Ford Movie.

No, the real question(s) I want to know is what version of Blade Runner inspired Mountain Of Smoke to write this album to. We do have about 6 or 7 versions to choose from. My second question is -Will they release an album based on the classic sequel Blade Runner 2049.

Anyway, I digress. Gods Of Biomechanics is a thrilling and spectacular heavy album.

Excellent and Highly Recommended.

Words by Steve Howe - Outlaws of the Sun


Endless Night- TBA
Gods of Biomechanics- (2018) self released



Mountain of Smoke started in 2013 as a two piece drum and bass metal band.  Pj Costigan and Brooks Martin both wanted to do something new, innovative, and with an element of science fiction tied into it.  Between-jam discussions of the finer points of sci-fi flicks, Mountain of Smoke was born, finding its sound in the elemental power of glacial pacing and high gain, low-end thunder.

The duo brandished their newly forged form of sludge metal in Fort Worth on 4/20/2013. Inspired by the 1982 sci-fi classic Blade Runner, Mountain of Smoke’s first self-released demos caught local attention spans in a vice grip.

While writing their new material for their first full album – Brooks imagined the concept for their next one as “Blade Runner fan fiction,” but the sound didn’t fit what he heard in his head – but around the same time, his and Costigan’s longtime friend, guitarist Alex Johnson (House Harkonnen, Blood of the Sun, Convoy and the Cattlemen) had expressed interest in joining the band on lap steel, assuring them that the instrument, normally a staple of country bands, would work to make their already-heavy sound even more punishing. Johnson got his shot during the band’s next recording session.

Mountain of Smoke, as a duo, had essentially rewritten their second album by then and headed into Civil Audio in Denton, TX to record it with engineer Michael Briggs (Kylesa, Tera Melos, Sarah Jaffe) in 2018. When the album was mostly tracked, Brooks and Costigan had Johnson overdub lap steel. Johnson ran it through a battery of effects pedals, giving the new songs’ ominous menace and furious attack some eerie, frightening aural textures.

Called Gods of Biomechanics, Mountain of Smoke’s album (also self-released) ramped up the pace and broadened their sonic spectrum, building on Blade Runner’s mythology to include the imagined perspectives and backstories of the film’s secondary characters, their stories borne on the band’s heavy distortion and rhythmic bludgeoning. It also cemented Johnson as a full-time member, as well as winning praise from local press like the Dallas Observer and FW Weekly and notable stoner rock blog The Obelisk. 

Now a trio, Mountain of Smoke toured their new album throughout Texas, filling opening slots for heavy hitters like Black Cobra, Fu Manchu, Bongzilla, Weedeater, Big Business, Bongripper, MOS Generator, Mondo Generator, Conan, Monolord, Pentagram, Fucked Up, Whores, and American Sharks. They also played a few shows with Austin’s heavy metal Pink Floyd tribute Doom Side of the Moon, which caught the attention of DSOTM guitarist Kyle Shutt, most famous for his work with stoner rock troubadours The Sword.

Shutt became something of a Mountain of Smoke fan, and toward the end of 2018, he sent Brooks a text. “I want to join your band.” And as crazy as that sounded – Brooks and Costigan have been fans of The Sword from way back – Shutt joined Mountain of Smoke on guitar in early 2019. Besides adding even more destructive power to the band’s live show, Shutt joined them in the studio in the spring of 2019 to begin work on their third album as a four-piece. The new album continues the band’s obsessions with sci-fi, high volumes, and brutal percussion, and along with Shutt’s guitar, it includes vocal contributions from True Widow’s Nikki Cage and Doomfall’s Katie Puryear.

Through each lineup iteration, Mountain of Smoke continues to evolve into increasingly heavier forms. What started as a heavy metal hangout session is now poised to become one of the giants of the doom metal genre. Stray into their path and enjoy total sonic obliteration.

Band Members