Monday, May 25, 2020
Mountaineer : " Bloodletting"
You do not have to get very far into this album to hear this band is doing something very different in terms of what it means to be doom. How doom they actually are is another matter. When they do bring the heavy it feels more likea sludge band. They are making interesting music no matter the genre they are most intent on defying. There both sung vocals anre harsher roars. Shoe gaze has played major influence on their sound. There is a more forcefully sung vocal to "the Weeds I have Tended ". While the album sounded great through the computer speakers that tend to be far to mid rangey for metal, putting ear buds in brought the guitat tone home and made the metal in whaat they do much more evident. Things are more melancholy than they are dark. It is a mood I can work with. The more Jesu like sound comes to the forefront on the hypnotic "Shot Through With Sun Light". There are some interesting layers to this arrangement that keep the song moving.
With what ever flavor of post metal a band is bringing to the table it is easy for the song to numb you out with the drone. These guys still manage to engage you while taking you for a ride with their narcotic sonics. There is more of a Pink Floyd feel to the guitar of "To Those We've Said Goodbye" . Three minutes in the are hitting the kind of cinematic drone that is more common of your average instrumental post rock band. The vocals do come in to break away from this trope. They are very calmly sung. with become more ominous with the more foreboding storm carried in the guitars of the title track. It is very melodic. Not hooky. The vocals are just another texture. It is the groove that drives "South to Infinity" that shows what the band is really capable of. The screamed vocals are mixed back way further than where the sung vocals sit.
They step away from metal for more of a tense indie rock styled strum with "Apart". The plainitive vocals come closer to being hooky than what we have heard up to this point. The vocals come up further in the mix so the lyrics are very clear on "Ghost Story". This finds them making a much more accessible stab at song writing. The guitars still come in with some weight behind them. This I suppose is the last song, but their bandcamp page has "Still" listed as a bonus track so I will count it for the purpose of this review, it is shoe gaze more long the lines of Hum. The vocals more obscured by the fuzzed out guitar. I will round this up to a 9.5 as they have dones something different here and it worked really well. Not on the Deafheven band wagon, nor are they ripping off Pallbearer.