Black Mountain Wilderness Heart

Black Mountain Wilderness Heart
Black Mountain have always thrived on excess, with past albums featuring epic-length tracks and stadium-sized psych rock workouts. On their third album, the Vancouver, BC riff-mongers rein in their ambitious side, with the longest of these ten tracks clocking in at a relatively modest 5:16. Unlike their usual hard rock bravado, half of the album's songs are based primarily on acoustic guitar, and campfire strummers like "Buried by the Blues" and "The Space of Your Mind" are the prettiest songs the band have ever produced. Still, old habits die hard, and when the band cut loose, they hold nothing back: "Let Spirits Ride" is an explosion of down stroke strumming, pummelling rhythms and wah-wah shred solos. Singer Amber Webber unleashes her best arena-goddess warble on the title track, complete with a dramatic start-stop breakdown and a synth choir. With its mix of delicate folksiness and boozy rock, Wilderness Heart offers the best of both worlds. (Outside)