Monday, 25 October 2010

BLACK MOUNTAIN : Wilderness Heart



“Bloody visions of a world so torn…”

Cinematic and nearly heart-stopping, the sleeve of Black Mountain’s third and latest effort Wilderness Heart instantly exposes the rawness of the band with riffs so fierce that they cut like shark’s jaws. Only the railing puts a stop to the ominous predator and if one looks at the landscape, one sees asphalt, therefore the sight of nature is the only element that brings softness to the whole picture.

This loaded image is rich in diverse content and symbolics, it emphasizes the quintessence of nature and mankind vs animal life. It is the band’s keyboardist Jeremy Schmidt who is in charge of the artwork and it indeed corroborates the philosophy of their music.

Is Wilderness Heart meant to bring out the animal or ecological activist in us?

"The Hair Song" captures with its bona fide feel, making the song your new hippie anthem. It sets a different tone for the album, being less radical in its intensity and more subtle and peaceful in terms of visuals and atmospheres.

"Radiant Hearts" surprises with its minimalist and wholehearted touch, showing the improved vocal skills of Stephen McBean and Amber Webber, their mingled voices are indeed more harmonious and elegant than ever.

Yet it isn’t until the epic "Rollercoaster" that the album reaches a significant level of adrenaline. Smoking hot and orgasmic, this piece of music is high-voltage genius, utter rock royalty that could have been written by Zeppelin themselves and is to be played at maximum volume!

The Vancouver combo excels at old school hard rock and fans of their notorious untamed sound may not get their sufficient fix with this album, however the latter opens new doors and brighter horizons with some dazzling folky tunes such as "Buried By The Blues" and "Way To Gone", amplifying McBean’s versatile songwriting craft. Oddly enough, these mellower tunes may actually let the listener drift further mentally as they are more spiritually and soulfully bestowed.

The self-titled track restates "RollerCoaster" in terms of drastic sensations whilst the last two tracks provide a more subdued impression, this is a mixed record that may come up as a turning point in the band’s career. Their artistic coherence and sensibility will surely lead us to more otherwordly lands.

Wilderness Heart was released on Jagjaguwar on September, 14th.

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