- by D R Pautsch Rating:8 Release Date:2016-04-03 Label: Jagjaguwar
Black Mountain have regrouped after six years of touring and side-projects and are almost begging you to make comparisons and parallels. Titling your fourth album IV draws the deepest of comparisons with those albums in the rock canon that have gone before with the same title. Then there's the fact they have created an album that veers between epic 70s prog numbers and more mainstream ones.
On top of that, the cover looks like some kind of hybrid of images that bands of that era would love - heck, it has Concorde on it instead of a zeppelin. They are almost poking a stick at you and asking you to look at this with other albums in mind. What is different here is the synths that are all over the album and the 21st century lyrical content.
The whole thing starts with the huge Mothers of the Sun. A song that was built up on a riff and sounds like it was raised like a monolith from the past with little updating. Its long, sprawling guitar and slow solo's are 70's prog to the bone. Florian Saucer Attack is a far more sprightly song that has a binary vision at its core. Constellations is a rocky riff with call and response, synth and a big fat groove. Line Them All Up is acoustic bliss that sounds almost Irish in its lilt but with a warm production this is a real moment of beauty. Crucify Me is a dark number lyrically but is actually a lovely bright acoustic song that belies its meaning. If this sounds all over the place, well it is. But it works. As a piece its an album that grows and lives up to its comparisons. Its guitar solo's and epic moments are almost Pink Floyd. Its guitar is almost Led Zeppelin. At times it gets a bit too self indulgent. (over and over) The Chain takes three minutes to go anywhere for example. However, this is a huge, epic album of rock. Stick it on your headphones late at night and you'll be blissed out. Rock used to be like this. Dark, broody and magnificent.