Olympus Mons (Defiled Under Music)
Vancouver trio Hidden Towers etched their way into the eyes of critics by being the first “heavy” band to win CiTR’s Shindig since 3 Inches of Blood grabbed the title in 2001. What this means I’m not sure, but they did use their winnings to create their first EP Great Conjunctions and have now released Olympus Mons.
This new effort follows the structure of heroic heavy metal without entering into that total cheese-factor state. The songs are detailed, with Chris Cantrell (guitars and vocals), Ben Holland (bass), and Jakub Svoboda (drums) creating melodies that are strong and slightly whimsical at times, with the lyrics never too embarrassingly literal.
Tracks like “Gainsford, AB (Cup of Blood)” and “Comoving Distance” branch into Soundgarden-esque territory, whereas “Gleaming Cube” and “Drowning in the Baptismal Font” play with breaks and space to sound almost romantic.
Olympus Mons offers a wall-of-sound threat that doesn’t pounce on you aggressively, but instead creeps up like a poison to infect your veins and coax you in.