Black Mountain, In The Future

Dan Epstein

By Dan Epstein

on 04.22.11 in Reviews

Despite the plethora of critical plaudits thrown their way, there was something “off” about both Black Mountain's self-titled 2005 debut and the following year's Drugonaut EP. It was as if the Vancouver quintet had amassed all the tools and the concepts necessary to create a 21st Century update of 1970s-style prog/psych, but couldn't quite figure out how to put the pieces together. Not this time, however. To invoke the bell-bottomed parlance of the Nixon era, In the Future is a stone mutha, a fully formed, thoroughly mind-bending opus that sounds like it flew in on the wings of those silver spaceships Neil Young used to dream about.

Canadian quintet unleashes their inner Iron Man.

Black Sabbath and early Pink Floyd are some of the more prominent sonic touchstones in the mix (the devastating riffs of “Stormy High” and “Tyrants” would fit right in on Sabbath Vol. 4), but there are also traces of the aforementioned Mr. Young in the prickly “Angels” and the cosmic campfire sing-along “Stay Free.” Ziggy-era Bowie briefly pops in on “Wild Wind,” which sounds too short by itself, but makes the perfect lead-in for the dizzying sixteen-minute epic “Bright Lights.” By the time the chilling “Night Walks” brings the album to a close, you realize that Black Mountain could easily conquer the Earth if they didn't already have their sights set on other galaxies.