Holy Mountain are: Andy McGlone (guitars, vocals); Pete Flett (drums); Allan Stewart (bass)

Masculine yet never macho, reverential yet never slavish, accomplished yet never ostentatious, galaxy-shaking hard rock visionaries Holy Mountain return to Planet Earth for the release of magnum opus ‘Ancient Astronauts’ on Chemikal Underground.

Adding a pinch of Sun Ra attitude and a splash of Deep Purple-flavoured keyboards to the trio's signature gumbo of Black Sabbath, Jimi Hendrix and Iron Monkey, Ancient Astronauts is a quantum leap on from debut mini-album Earth Measures, a six-track manifesto recorded in just 17 hours. Though constructed on similar principles - overdub-free rhythm tracks, "feel" taking priority over technique, wholehearted surrender to The Riff – ‘Ancient Astronauts’ is more expansive in outlook, its scope multiplied hundredfold.

The role played by sought-after co-pilot Paul Savage (Mogwai, Franz Ferdinand, RM Hubbert) - who recorded and produced Ancient Astronauts - suffuses the album's eight cuts, whether the Roland Space Chorus through which Andy McGlone's textural vocals are fed or the aural nirvana that is the monolithic slowdown three-quarters of the way through Star Kings. Perhaps his greatest achievement, though, is building a launchpad from which Holy Mountain can embark on their most ambitious mission yet.

It's a challenge the band have met, mangled and torn to smithereens, creating a record that coruscates and compels, helped in no small part by their commitment to employing the finest hardware in the rock arsenal - in search of the perfect tone and none too impressed by existing options, McGlone builds his own amplifiers and FX pedals from scratch. The electric guitar has never sounded this good. Behind him Pete Flett ploughs a furrow last occupied by John Bonham while Allan Stewart anchors the cosmic magick lest it cut loose and head towards the stratosphere.

Editor's notes
Holy Mountain are based in Glasgow.
The band are named after Alejandro Jodorowsky's 1973 drama La Montana Sagrada.
‘Earth Measures’ was released on Chemikal Underground in May 2012.
McGlone and Flett formed Holy Mountain in 2009 as an improvisational duo, drawing comparisons to Lightning Bolt. Stewart signed up two years later, shortly before the sessions for ‘Earth Measures’.
‘Ancient Astronauts’ was recorded and mixed at Chem19 Studios, Scotland, in 2013.