Black Mountain

In the Future | Jagjaguwar
By RYAN STEWART  |  April 8, 2008
3.0 3.0 Stars
blackmountaininside
Stoner metal may be associated most famously with the California desert, but hundreds of miles to the north, Vancouver’s Black Mountain have been exploring similar territory for several years now. The band’s second album favors slow, psychedelic drones over urgent metal blasts. “Tyrants” is an eight-minute epic journey that fluctuates between scorching, pounding guitars and moments of calm that border on silence; “Wucan” and “Evil Ways” have a firmer rhythmic backbone. The fuzzy guitars start to blend together as the album progresses — the point, perhaps, but Black Mountain do well to break up the repetition with “Stay Free,” an acoustic, falsetto ballad, and “Queens Will Play,” which has a lead-vocal turn from back-up singer/percussionist Amber Webber, whose voice sounds like Kristin Hersh by way of Corin Tucker. But the band’s sound comes together best on the opening track, “Stormy High,” which, rather than inspiring you to space out, pulls you out of your seat with its relentless monster garage riffage.
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