We had the opportunity to get advance access to the new Black Mountain album Destroyer! The album drops on May 24 on Jagjaguwar. Special thanks to Pitch Perfect PR for getting us access. Check out below for our track by track review of Black Mountain's Destroyer!
Advance Review - Black Mountain - Destroyer
"Future Shade" comes right out the gate kicking with ripping guitars and fantastic drums. Keys soon join in, before the vocals come. There is a vintage twinge to this track, particularly with the use of the keys. This is a song you would blast going 90 mph down a highway with your windows down, driving like a bat out of hell. There is some fantastic guitar work throughout the song including a fun solo near the end of the track. Vocally, I loved the harmonies, they're perfectly executed. Black Mountain describes their sound as "Spaced Age Rock'n'roll", "Horns Arising"captures this perfectly. Musically, it rocks your face. Vocally, it's electronic in nature, almost alien. Midway through the track, there is an acoustic breakdown section that is downright beautiful. Lyrically, Black Mountain evokes extremely metal topics such as "Lakes of fire" and I'm absolutely down for it all. It all clearly has me in the mood to throw the horns up and jam out.
With "Closer to the Edge", has more of an electronic feel to it. Mainly through the use of keys and the repetitive vocals. This track seems to be more of a change of pace, or palate cleanser. It's sort of disappointing that in an album of only eight tracks we get one of these here, but it's not unforgivable. "High Rise" has Black Mountain perfectly blending elements of Bowie and elements of classic hard rock. The harmonies are fantastic here and really provide depth to the track. The guitars like much of the guitar on the album is full of fuzz and is in your face, it has a bite. Thematically, Black Mountain teases futuristic lyrics, that pair perfectly with the electronics going throughout the song. This is another track that perfectly captures "Spaced Age Rock'n'roll".
"Pretty Little Lazies" is a slower jam that is reminiscent of more psychedelic classic rock of the 70's. It's a nice homage to this music, all while staying thematically within the band's sound. It really picks up at around the three minute mark, before shifting to an acoustic movement that is equally as trippy as the first first portion of the song. This is a track you can put on and get lost in. "Boogie Lover"starts off with a solid bass line and ethereal vocals. Soon the guitar joins in and the vocals pick up. This is another track that is extremely psychedelic and I love it. Some of the guitar in this has a hint of blues rock to it as well.
"Licensed to Drive"starts with magnificent drumming. Soon it shifts to a rhythm that's reminiscent of speed metal (think Metallica circa Kill 'Em All) or punk, (with a little cosmic thrown in for good measure). I'm not sure how I feel about the more cosmic sounding electronics layered over top such a speed metal rhythm. However, I love the vocals as there's great harmonization here again. "FD 72"is a more atmospheric experience, reminding of some of Bowie's more cosmic work (with a touch more guitar).
Closing Thoughts - Black Mountain's Destroyer is a unique experience musically. There are elements of hard rock, psychedelic rock, classic rock, electronic, and the cosmic present throughout. Black Mountain never fails to disappoint with each of their full-length tracks, as each is a cohesive experience that takes you somewhere. Somehow, Black Mountain manage to keep one foot in the classic or vintage, while they simultaneously guide you to the future with their implementation of electronic sounds and tropes. It's sure to kick your ass, just a little bit, but I absolutely dug it and think you will too.