by Dave Fonseca
Before I received the promotional copy of Enemies in the mail, The Holy Mountain was nothing more than a name I frequently came across in the used CD rack at a local record store. Man, I wish I had bucked up for that CD earlier, as THM purveys some of the most honest and raging hardcore you'll hear in 2006. Rooted in the grinding d-beat hardcore of His Hero is Gone and Discharge, and coated with the metallic fury of later Nasum, Enemies is 20-something minutes of unapologetic vitriol. But, in addition to just being "aggressive" and "furious" and "blistering," and all those other cliches that are plastered on every hardcore album, these songs are also eloquent and anthemic. "Manufacturing Political Leverage" blitzes the listener with a marching three chord attack that brings to mind the crusty malevolence of Bathory as much as it references HHIG. "The Will of the People" follows a similar route and seemingly disappears into a mist of soaring guitar squeals before the band resumes their attack for the song's final 30 seconds. "Rope or Bullet" and "Historical Reassurance," which feature a healthy Nasum influence, see the band performing maddeningly catchy crust with white knuckle aggression. Here we also hear the subtle brilliance of the lead guitar. While not displaying any virtuosity or innovation, the well placed and persistent harmonies which decorate these songs are a moving counterpoint to the aggression found on the surface. "Spilling Currency," the final song on the EP, is probably the most rhythmically challenging, while still being memorable and inviting. And, with its stutter stop vocal delivery, this song brings to mind Plastic Surgery Disasters era Dead Kennedys - that's never a bad thing. Bottom Line: There's not much else to say here. This formula may have been driven into the ground for some of you many years ago, but that's none of my concern. My job as a reviewer is to assess the quality of the album at hand, and I assure you that this is about as good as it gets for modern hardcore. Everything about this record captures what crusty, no-nonsense extreme music should be about. There are so many young bands trying to capture the apocalyptic aesthetic that THM have captured. If you're still in the market for hardcore that speaks to an era before the genre was mangled and rendered unrecognizable, then you need this EP.