Black Country Black Country
Published Jan 29, 2016After an opening instrumental of gorgeous alt-country ambience, the title track "Black Country" — it's the name of the record and the band — offers a taste of what this project is about. The mix is deep and full, with psychedelic flourishes cropping up here and there. Megan Hamilton's sweet pipes provide the perfect foil for Josh Richardson's deeper voice, even though the vocals are buried way down in the atmospheric swirl. The pace is slow and the reverberating air is heavy with a forlorn mood.
"Slow Dancing" and "Dead Horse" exhibit definite alt-country leanings (although the former could be on a David Lynch soundtrack), but there are further hints of Black Country's true nature with "Long Winter." Despite its folksy guitar, this one sounds for all the world like the achingly beautiful ballad that we all wished Roger Waters had sung on The Wall.
It probably isn't until the final track, "Deep Dark Blue," that the full truth is revealed, as prog/psych-rock guitars echo around the room, counterbalancing the loud metal drone. This is not an alt-country record at all, but a wolf in sheep's clothing. This is post-rock. It's ambient drone metal, with the country/folk thing just thrown in for flavour. Far from being down to earth, this dream-inducing music is so cosmic that you feel a doorway has opened up to another plane of existence. (Mudtown)