SILVER MOUNTAIN – Shakin’ Brains / Universe (March 15, 2024)


🤘New release from: SILVER MOUNTAINShakin’ BrainsUniverse (March 15, 2024)🤘

Regain Classics (distributed & marketed by Regain Records) announces March 15th as the international release date for long-overdue reissues of Silver Mountain‘s cult first two albums, Shakin’ Brains and Universe, on CD, vinyl LP, and cassette tape formats.

Hailing from Malmo, Silver Mountain are a unique entry into the rich history of Swedish heavy metal. As no doubt indicated by their moniker, the band’s sound was heavily indebted to the Dio-fronted era of Rainbow – of course, the still-going province of ex-Deep Purple guitarist Ritchie Blackmore – which, at their time of inception in 1979, was something of an old-fashioned sound as heavy metal itself was coalescing into a worldwide movement with its own harder-edged style and image. Nevertheless, even during those nascent times, a great deal of hard rock was lumped into the wider “metal” category (and vice versa), underlining the links between the two, and often helping elevate many bands in popularity.

Silver Mountain released a 7″ single in 1979 and then a demo the following year, both with an early lineup that saw only vocalist/guitarist Jonas Hansson continuing. Eventually, he found the classic Silver Mountain lineup with brothers Anders Johansson and Jens Johansson – drums and keyboards, respectively – and bassist Per Stadin. This lineup would record the band’s first album, 1983’s Shakin’ Brains, and then the band would be nearly overhauled for the next album, 1985’s Universe. Together, regardless of lineup, both albums are widely regarded as Silver Mountain‘s best work. Although the band would release another album in 1988, Silver Mountain effectively came to an end (much like many ’80s hard rock/metal bands did) in 1993. And although there’d be a reunion album in 2001 – and they still continue to play shows to this day – Silver Mountain‘s first two albums are THE classics in the band’s catalogue, etched-in-time documents of early Swedish heavy metal.

SILVER MOUNTAIN - Shakin' Brains / Universe (March 15, 2024)Of this classic pair, Shakin’ Brains is the most obviously Rainbow-indebted. A great deal of this is due to Jens Johansson‘s stellar keyboard work, which here runs the gamut of highway-starlit to medieval and plenty of points in between, but always rising. Particularly when he leans on gritty organ tones, it provides even more punch to Silver Mountain‘s mostly uptempo attack here. Of course, “attack” is a very relative word: on tone and texture alone, the majority of Shakin’ Brains is within the wider hard rock umbrella, but the quartet sure kick up a raucous party across the album’s 40-minute runtime. Nevertheless, shades of early heavy metal dot the landscape, with the darker and more epic punch of “King of the Sea” and “Keep On Keepin’ On” closing out the album in fine fashion. Even though they’d been going for four years by that point, Silver Mountain here evinced a remarkable amount of raw power.

Compared to the preceding Shakin’ Brains, Universe is the more conventionally “metal.” Perhaps due to the closing moodiness of Shakin’ Brains or (more likely) or the band trying to catch up with the commercial strides heavy metal had made by the mid-’80s – or, most likely, the near-overhaul of lineup which saw Christian Mentzer come in on lead vocals, Mårten Hedener on drums, and Erik Björn Nielsen on session keyboards – Silver Mountain‘s second album immediately features a darker tone, slicker production, and more magickal synths. Similarly, whereas that first album saw the band largely sticking to their ’70s-rooted sound and playing at “A Light in the Black” uptempo, much of Universe stomps and struts to a radio-ready mid-tempo, albeit one likely too dark and dramatic for airplay. But make no mistake, this tradeoff worked in spades, as the guitar leads became more narrative and the keyboard work colours them with mystery and sometimes spaciness. What results is a strangely time-locked recording that sounds remarkably fresh today.

Out of print for nearly 15 years, Silver Mountain‘s cult-classics Shakin’ Brains and Universe will both at long last see a worldwide reissue on all formats courtesy of Regain Classics. Run with the wolf AND bark at the moon!

Both albums are currently streaming at Regain Records’ Bandcamp. Preorder info for Shakin’ Brains can be found HERE, and preorder info for Universe can be found HERE. Respective covers and tracklistings are as follows:


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