The compelling sound of Dutch rockers Mountain Eye is borne out of their riff-heavy hard rock roots being infused with elements of alternative, funk and jazz.
As frontman Arthur Robinson put it to us: “Basically, if you like groove, heavy riffs, melody, dynamics, aggression and ambience then we cover most of the two sides of the poles.
“We all have different musical backgrounds, brought it all to the table and just play what we love. I believe that you can hear a bit of everything in our music and our aim is to take the listener through an array of emotional experiences.”
The quintet, completed by Omar and Tim (guitars), Kieft (bass) and Matthijs (drums), joined forces in late 2017 with the aim of bringing a new twist to the classic nu-metal sound of the 2000s. That comes across as Arthur references his key vocal influences as Chad Grey (Mudvayne/Hellyeah), Chester Bennington (Linkin Park) and David Draiman (Disturbed). But one band above all has had a major influence on the Mountain Eye sound.
As Arthur says: “What really blew me away was when I first heard KoRn. I was just listening to songs on MTV and suddenly Got The Life came on and I was completely hypnotised by it. The groove, the raw feel, the distortions, the melody, it had everything and it was powerful. It opened so many doors in the metal scene from there and it was the most awesome time of musical discoveries in my life.”
The first taste of Mountain Eye’s hard rock fusion is album Roads Uncharted, which was released earlier this month. A particular highlight is second track Take Control, which opens up with a light guitar lick that drops into a big smash of powerful guitar chords. Then cheeky record scratches support an energetic combination of big chords and Arthur’s dominating vocals. A more melodic chorus follows, ending on big cries of “Separating what is real from what is fake” then a big smash of guitars. Check it out below:
There are more melodic moments through the album, including the excellent Verge. Light guitars and atmospheric background sounds kick off and continue under laid-back vocals that suddenly jump into intense vocals over stabbing guitar chords. A melodic singalong chorus of “Give me everything, Where will you go from here” follows, then dives into a verse of fast-paced, very Mudvayne-esque vocals. Check it out below:
On what inspires them to write music, Arthur explains: “For myself as a vocalist, my life inspires and influences me to write music. There is nothing more pure than being transparent about your experiences and feelings. We all go through emotional rollercoasters, some experience them more intensely than others but if you look at the core of it, we all can relate to it. The key topic is about being human, what we all experience as a whole is what connects us to each other.”
We’ve had a few Dutch bands get in touch recently, and on the local scene Arthur tells us: “The Dutch metal community is very much alive when it comes to all the big metal acts like System Of A Down, Slipknot, KoRn etc.. as they gather huge crowds to the venues. But people are less interested in smaller bands in general and we think it is because the metal audience in the Netherlands is a little conservative, especially in our genre. There is a lot of talent in the Netherlands and the numbers are growing, so our aim is to break through this barrier as we believe it is possible because we possess the ambition and quality to deliver alternative metal to them.”
While Arthur’s musical journey offers a bit of inspiration to anyone who fancies giving music a go. He tells us he first started a band out of his garage with his brother, who was on drums, in which he played guitar then moved on to singing and screaming. But, as he explains: “I was really terrible, everyone laughed the whole time but it was through this comforting feeling of being amongst family and friends that didn’t make me want to quit the idea there and then.
“From there on I always played in bands, different types of metal and never tried a solo act as I always enjoy sharing the experiences and learning new ideas within a group of friends. That’s what I love most in a band, it is the friendship that is built from it and enjoying the time together.”
It’s safe to say Arthur’s come a long way since the days of screaming in a garage with his brother and Mountain Eye have honed an exciting, hard-hitting yet melodic hard rock sound.
The band have plenty coming up, including an album launch party at the Melkweg in Amsterdam on 9 February. More info on their upcoming gigs is here. They also have a few vidoes in the works and are already busy composing new music.
As Arthur tells us: “I can say that we are adding to the dynamics and challenging ourselves to keep exploring our instruments while keeping true to the core of what we do.
“We intend to interact more with everyone that wants to follow the progression of the band and get to know us better as individuals by sharing moments from off and on stage, updates of our plans and milestones, Q&As and other things.”