Been a big fan of Black Mountain (and their other incarnation The Pink Mountaintops) since last year. Their two albums “Black Mountain” and “In The Future” were amongst the best I have heard from Canada in a long time! These two albums epitomise all that I love about today’s rock and heavy metal bands. Black Mountain’s music is deeply embedded in Led Zepp, Black Sabbath and Deep Purple and they mix the exact amount of modern day eccentrics to make the mix a pleasure to listen.
However, on my first listen of their new album Wilderness Heart, I was utterly disappointed. The album is littered with chords from metal bands of 70s and no other obvious departures from that sound. Their previous two albums had diamonds that were immediately recognisable as astounding songs. But this album needs at least three listens before you start to realise that the album is quite astonishing.
The songs come across so powerfully primarily because of Stephen and Amber’s vocals. The interplay between them in almost every song is so amazing, so enlightening that you cannot help but thank the stars above that this group has these two vocalists. Even the song like ‘Let Spirits Ride’ that seems to be a left over from Black Sabbath’s Heaven and Hell, shines through because of the vocals. And then there are prog rockers like ‘Rollercoaster’. It’s songs like this that sets Black Mountain apart from other bands that try and ape the 70’s heavy metal sound. There are some funky bluesey songs too that are thrown in the mix that come off quite well. ‘Buried By Blues’ and ‘The Way To Go’ are really charming and songs to play on a sunny sunday afternoon while one is painting the garage door (now you know what I am going to do this weekend!).
Overall an excellent album from this Canadian outfit. I had a chance to see them last month but had no one to go with so I abandoned the idea. I really need to start getting used to the idea of going alone!