From Mountains - From Mountains - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

From Mountains - From Mountains

by James Weiskittel Rating:7 Release Date:2016-11-04

As an avid fan of the post-rock genre myself, I will be the first to admit that it can certainly be a tough label for a new band to adorn itself with.  As with any movement, a genre typically enjoys a ‘golden years’ status where an endless sea of new bands explode onto the scene in the wake of a handful of intrepid trailblazers until the eventual ‘law of diminished returns’ renders any interest in a third (fourth, fifth, etc…) wave of imitators all but non-existent.

So it is with that context in mind that England’s From Mountains are about to release their debut self-titled album; a strong effort in its own right that immediately places the band amongst the genre's best.  All the key elements are here: long, building-to-a-crescendo songs featuring classically styled linear arrangements and a complete absence of vocals, all of which are accomplished with mere ‘rock & roll’ instruments.  

Yes, it’s all been done countless times before, but nonetheless, From Mountains nails it.  Beginning with the shimmering chime that opens “Outside the Joybox”, and continued with the impressively melodic piano that centers “And We Danced”, it’s clear that From Mountains modus operandi is to take a more cinematic, shoegaze approach that instantly calls to mind genre standouts like Explosions In The Sky and Mono.  

Over the course of all five tracks, From Mountains continues to ebb and flow between delicate passages of ambience and boldly pronounced motifs.  The band even verges on ‘rocking’ every now and then, albeit through the power of their synchronicity as there isn’t even the slightest hint of a big ol’ guitar riff to be heard here.  The album closes with the nearly ten minute epic “Eta Carinae”, the record’s best track and the song that really displays the band's dynamic range due in no small part to it’s beautifully chaotic final section.

At this point, fans of post-rock know what they are looking for.  For a genre that used to feel so ‘open-ended’, there are clearly rules at play now for most bands choosing this course.  It’s by adhering to those rules that From Mountains is able to execute such a solid debut release.  And while there may be an uphill battle ahead for the band as they attempt to stand apart from the fray, they have nonetheless delivered an excellent debut; a record that would have been an instant classic had it been released ten years ago.

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