Mountain - Mystic Fire
Artist: Mountain (www.mountaintheband.com)
Title: Mystic Fire
Label: Sony/Legacy (www.legacyrecordings.com)
In 2002 Mountain released Mystic Fire, a new album that reunited Leslie West and Corky Laing. It becomes evident rather quickly that their musical alliance has experienced a strong rejuvenation on this album. Although it is somewhat different from anything that you have heard before, you will recognize the raunchy hard-nosed vocals and crunching blues-rock guitar of Leslie West and the pounding rhythms of Laing. I think most Mountain fans will be pleased with this effort. I also highly recommend the DVD Sea of Fire that highlights some of the new tracks in a live setting.
The album jumps right off the starting line on fire with West growling I am "Immortal," bringing that old Mountain magic back again with a roar. "The Sea" is the bands elegy to the September 11th tragedy while "Mutant X" is for a world gone mad and one that does not seem too far away when you consider the current situation and all the advances in biotechnology. "Johnny Comes Marching Home" is another track devoted to the good old U.S.A.; it reminded me of the famous performance by Hendrix at Woodstock of the "Star Spangled Banner." It was not in musical way that brought the thought of Hendrix back to me, it was and the style and subject matter. "Better off with Blues" is an excellent blues-rock number with lyrics to match. The song salutes the bands love for the blues effectively. The closer is a remake of "Nantucket Sleighride," which was a song West absolutely loathed because it was so difficult to play at first, but it became one of his favorites. It is not the same without Felix Pappalardi on lead vocals, but West does a nice job with it just the same. The music is another matter, the guitar playing is phenomenal and the song has a newfound meaning and life that it seems to have been waiting for all along. Throughout the song, I could hear Felix singing. This kind of remake will spark a lot of emotion for listeners so get ready; it is chills-up-the-spine time.
This album continues to grow on me with each listen. Even though it is not anything like the old Mountain it still rocks hard and stands as another solid album for this legendary band.
1. Immortal - 3:59
2. Mystic Fire - 4:44
3. Fever - 3:22
4. The Sea - 5:19
5. Mutant X - 5:17
6. Better Off With the Blues - 4:15
7. Mountain Express (Oh Boy) - 2:56
8. Marble Peach/Rotten Peach - 5:01
9. Johnny Comes Marching Home - 2:50
10. Nantucket Sleighride (Redux) - 7:29
Corky Laing - Percussion, Drums, String Arrangements, String Conductor
Leslie West - Bass, Guitar, Vocals
Todd Wolfe - Slide Guitar