Album Of The Day: Horseback ? The Invisible Mountain (cd Reissue)

Kategorie: Roadburn Festival
geschrieben von: Roadburn Festival geschrieben am: 27.07.2010 um: 03:40 Uhr

Praise for Horseback‘s The Invisible Mountain from San Francisco’s aQuarius Records: Something very strange must have transpired since the last Horseback disc. Something traumatic maybe? Some spiritual crisis of sonic faith? Where that record was a glistening, glimmering, dreamy, drifty drone record, this one is, well, much heavier, and more rocking, and WAY more intense and EVIL sounding. So much so that it almost sounds like a different band. That said, we dig it. A LOT.

Super intense, and super heavy psychedelic twang flecked metallic post rock. The guitars buzz, and drone, and occasionally twang, the drums are powerful, tight, the instruments locked into slow burning build ups, some strange hybrid of newer Earth, Godspeed, Circle, the Necks and maybe a little Scenic. There’s a sort of krautrock vibe going on too. Sun baked, a little lysergic, space-y hypnotic, repetitive, the tracks looooooong, with mostly a single part, that gradually builds and builds. The cool thing is it never explodes into a metal coda, a la Isis or Neurosis or a million other bands, it’s all about the journey not the destination, and the journey is riveting enough without tacking on an explosive blow out.

But then there’s the vocals, a harsh demonic rasp totally at odds with the music beneath, which in some ways makes the combination sound that much more intense and evil. Especially when the rasps are locked in a sort of call and response with the guitars, really strange but definitely compelling.

The first three tracks are variations on a theme, each an incredible slab of brooding, mesmerizing hypno-rock, lush and layered, with tons of cool little extra guitar flourishes, the drums busy enough to be interesting, but still locked tight into the groove, those vocals, adding menace for sure, but also a strange element that as mentioned above changes the whole feel. A track will be moody and woozy and will suddenly sound a bit evil, or at least a little ominous, before slipping back into the loping, pounding crush of the main riffs.

The strangest thing about this record is that the track with the most overtly evil title, the closer ‘Hatecloud Dissolving Into Nothing’, is the least heavy or evil of the bunch, and the only track that sounds like the first Horseback record. A 16+ minute drift of soft focus new age-y ambience, of dreamy drift, sun dappled guitars draped over long stretches of gauzy whir, the sound delicate and crystalline, definitely dreamy and blissed out. The only remnant of the tracks that came before, are some barely audible harsh vokills, way way way down in the mix, that almost sound like a slow shifting layer of hiss or buzz, beneath the kaleidoscopic shimmer of blurred guitar hum and melancholic melody, another strange combination, but similar to the vocals on the first three tracks, they lend a very subtle hint of menace to the otherwise tranquil proceedings.

The CD reissue via Relapse drops August 3rd (US) and August 9th (UK /World). The Invisible Mountain is available on vinyl through Aurora Boralis.

At 40 years old, Aquarius is the oldest independent record store in San Francisco. We try to only carry music we love, and we’re always searching for more new, cool, weird and wonderful music. All of which we then share with you, our loyal customers.

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