Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Album Review: Black Mountain- IV

Black Mountain
***and1/2 out of *****
The all over the map rock band Black Mountain returns with their first studio album in 5 years titled IV and while it is technically their 5th release (counting the Year Zero Soundtrack) it is a complete piece of art that just may be their best album yet.

Hailing from Vancouver, British Columbia the group roars from the north with mega riffs, loads of synths and deep drums. Production, handled by doom/metal guru Randall Dunn captures the band in deep chasms and cosmic outer space ways, most surprisingly it is the delicate numbers that stand out. Playing to their strengths the five piece opens with an epic dual vocal dreamscape called "Mothers of the Sun" that is huge in every direction and wins the day.

"Defector" stays in this cosmic swirl, recalling Pink Floyd while the dual vocals of Stephen McBean and Amber Webber play off each other and the stars. "(Over And Over) The Chain" keeps pushing the sonic boundaries (and space analogies) with its organ, meaty riffs and nearly nine minute black hole run time. 

The band still dips its toes into all forms of rock, with the punkish distortion of "Florian Saucer Attack", the indie-pop of "Cemetery Breeding", 70's cock rock swagger of "Constellations" and the acoustic based "Line Them All Up". However, all of these tracks are linked by the electro synths which color everything here; in the end making this record less jumbled than possibly imagined.

The synth work goes into overdrive for the digital swirling of "You Can Dream" that unfortunately is the weakest track here as it over relies on the elctro-phase shifts, rather then using them more as accentuating tones. Overall though Black Mountain's IV is an adventurous, big rock record that recalls various eras in the genres past while still looking towards its future.  
Support the band, buy the album and peeps some video:

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