Eclectic sounds that inspire a love of music
It’s hard to really nail down who Black Mountain sounds like, and their new album IV gives you another glimpse into their other-worldly (pun intended) sound. Start with the first track, because that usually sets the tone for the entire album. “Mothers of the Sun” begins with an electronic beat that carries through the entire song, but a few seconds in, we are hit with a heavy electronic sounding guitar riff reminiscent of 80s hair metal. As quickly as it came, it is gone and replaced with the haunting voice of Amber Webber. She’s leading you into the album like a ghostly figure would lead you through a haunted house. Strangely, you follow that ghost because you’re curious what she has to show you. Sometimes that curiosity will produce some pretty cool stuff, and that’s exactly what Black Mountain accomplished on their new album IV.
What made this album so special is the diversity of the songs. Each song felt like a different genre of music. You’ll get futuristic Pink Floyd one song and classic metal guitar riffs the next. It didn’t always work like in “(Over and Over) the Chain” and “Cemetery Breeding.” Both songs seemed to be filled with too many different sounds that don’t match up. But that will happen when you’re mixing so many drastically different sounds. When they succeed, and they do several times on the album, you get magic.
The album begins that way with the aforementioned “Mothers of the Sun.” The combination of guitar riff, background beat and lead vocals is incredible. You expect the song to stay heavy after the early guitar riff, but it drops off after that until you’re hit with a guitar solo much later on in the eight plus minute song. Black Mountain never allows you to stay comfortable throughout the album, hitting you with so many different styles and genre of music that you’re forced to pay attention and enjoy. You’re hit with a harder song like “Constellations” which are reminiscent of a new age Blue Oyster Cult with the heavy use of cowbell. However, immediately after “Constellations,” you’re hit with an 80s rock ballad in “Line Them All Up.”
Overall, the album feels like a compilation album of tributes to different sounds created by many different genres. At times, it can sound like a jumbled mess. As you listen to it more and more, you don’t really care. They fit together so many different styles so well that by the end of the album, your passion for music reached the same level as Black Mountain’s. You’re googling different bands they remind you of after each song, because you want to hear that kind of music again. And, that seemed to be what they wanted to accomplish on IV.