The return of Vancouver’s seventies rock throwbacks, Black Mountain, has arrived! How better to tip the cap to the heyday era of classic rock than naming your fourth album, IV? But don’t mistake this album for an album stuck in the 70’s. Instead it’s a 70’s infused record that Black Mountain is able to put their trademark stamp on and fit it into modern music.
An absolute brilliant album cover greets you, featuring the Concorde and some sort of space person looking over his/her/its shoulder. The album cover also acts a doorway or preview to the otherworldly dimension theme this album carries throughout. Black Mountain has tapped into their classic sound once again, this time with even more synthesizer.
The vibe on IV is fluid with a loose flow more prevalent then previous Black Mountain releases. Black Mountain has never been shy from long weaving songs but on IV there is a feeling of letting each song grow and breathe.
The haunting ‘Mothers of the Sun’ opens with an explosive riff and takes you across the Black Mountain sonic landscape for the next eight and a half minutes. Singers Stephen McBean and Amber Webber trade vocals on the song, building in the early parts to McBean’s ‘let’s count together…’ lyric, leading to another explosive riff and mid-point guitar solo.
Songs like ‘Florian Saucer Attack’ brings back the more sped up feel explored on ‘The Hair Song’ from their last album, 2010’s ‘Wilderness Heart’. While ‘Cemetery Breeding’ comes complete with a David Bowie ‘Ashes To Ashes’ riff.
The album closes with the spaced out epic ‘Space to Bakersfield’. It’s songs like this that makes Black Mountain shine, as they’re able to take the live music element and put it to an album. The last line uttered from McBean asks ‘are we listening…’ before the music softly fades. Sung almost as if he’s taken off, looking back, wondering if you’ll join him, it is the perfect bookend to the huge riffs of the opener.
Essential tracks: Mothers of the Sun, Florian Saucer Attack, You Can Dream & Cemetery Breeding