Mount Eerie, Ocean Roar

Andrew Parks

By Andrew Parks

on 09.06.12 in Reviews
Eight distinct dream sequences

Taken in tandem with the partly cloudy, wandering woodsman anthems of Clear Moon, Phil Elverum’s second Mount Eerie LP of 2012 (the aptly titled Ocean Roar) is like slathering a slice of multigrain bread with chunky peanut butter and shards of sea salt-dusted glass, then slapping a roughly sanded block of wood on top. Which isn’t to say that the two don’t go well together. They’re just a dizzying combination, with Elverum’s latest fully embracing the experimental flourishes of his last album and delivering eight distinct dream sequences. Many of which start and stop abruptly – the bittersweet title track and its playground sampling chaser, “Ancient Times”; the shifting perspectives of “Pale Lights,” which flips between demented power chords and a claustrophobic confessional; and the closing instrumental that begins like a Burzum song, then stops abruptly and turns off completely, running time be damned. (We’d explain the effect this has on you as a listener more fully, but that’d ruin the fun.) The most satisfying moment on here has to be “Engel Der Luft,” though. The Popol Vuh cover ignores the original’s queasy Fitzcarraldo melodies and sprints straight into a sunset of scorched black-metal riffs, smothered drum beats and violent, backspun vinyl. This, apparently, is what happens when you spend winters under blankets of snow and clear skies.