Saturday, March 26, 2016

Review: Black Mountain 'IV'

British Columbia's Black Mountain is set to release their 4th album, IV, on April 1st.
Black Mountain Consists of front man Stephen McBean, Amber Webber, Matt Camirand, Jeremy Schmidt and Joshua Wells. Many of these members also consist of mcBean's alternate reality band Pink Mountiantops. Both bands have released music since 2004, Pink Mountaintops having 4 LPs, and Black Mountain will just be reaching 4 next week, but Black Mountain is largely considered the main act. Both bands employ Heavy sludge metal and stoner rock overtones; Black Mountain having a more epic sound, while Pink mountaintops fields the more emotional side, with Outside Love LP (2009) being their magnum opus.
 Keyboardist Jeremy Schmidt said of the new release "We were toying with the idea of calling the album Our Strongest Material To Date" which is a tall order when comparing it to 2008's double LP "In The Future" (which included a bonus EP) filled from start to finish with epic metal triumphs such as "Wucan" and "Set Us Free"; but "IV" delivers; the first track "Mothers of the Sun" being an eight and half minute rock battle led by Amber Webber's soulful voice.
"IV" contains the dark Metal riffs we have come to expect from Black Mountain (the video of 'Mothers of the Sun' even having McBean black robed and in the midst of some mystic ritual involving a large knife), but 'IV' also employs the pop sounds and experimental vibe we expect from Pink Mountiantops; McBean finally merging his coinciding projects into one dramatic and worthwhile LP. The whole of 'IV' sounds as if the soundtracks to films Heavy Metal (1981) and Tron (1982)  got together to decide what music would sound like in the future. 'Florian Saucer Attack" is filled with pop synth sounds, chanting background vocals and Amber Webber on full blast. Webber's soul scorching vocals led a friend to exclaim (without knowing anything about her, or ever seeing her) that he loved her. What's not to love really, Webber has taken the reigns on 'IV' -where she belongs- this especially noticeable on the ballad "Line Them All Up", leaving McBean to back her up as well as pick up lead vocals when needed such as on the tracks "Cemetery Breeding" and "Constellations."
IV is to be officially released on April 1st, but the album has been fully leaked throughout the internet, causing much anticipation for their upcoming world tour  (closest dates to Louisville include 6/16/16  Bloomington IN,  6/17/16 in St. Louis MO, and  6/18/16 in Nashville, TN).

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