The cover of the third Black Mountain album somehow merges cohesively enough that it is logical that the window of a skyscraper would reflect not only a field but a flying great white shark.
In the same sense the distinct musical themes of Black Mountain unite on Wilderness Heart. The band stay true to their reputation as a ’70s styled power chord assailant with songs such as “Let Spirits Ride,” but they also dabble in other sounds.
On Wilderness Heart, Black Mountain successfully adapts to a more folksy sound without losing the legitimacy that their hard rocking has brought them in the heavier music scene. With songs such as “Buried by the Blues” you’re able to get as enveloped by a slow folk sound as you did listening to the prog-rock masterpiece “Bright Lights” from their previous album, In the Future.
It’s obvious that this change in sound comes with the strengthening of roles by all members of Black Mountain. Although Stephen McBean still plays a very influential role, Black Mountain is now less of a frontman-led band and expresses themselves as a symbiotic rock unit. Singers Amanda Webber and McBean come together as one single voice, and in many instances Webber leads the songs. Black Mountain’s changing identity may cause a rift in their fan base, but it’s certainly an album worth listening to with a sound worth thinking about.
Kelly Malone, Contributor