Mike Meadows

Vancouver-based Black Mountain has climbed to new heights with their second metal-influenced psychedelic rock crusade "In the Future."

Vancouver-based Black Mountain has climbed to new heights with their second metal-influenced psychedelic rock crusade “In the Future.” Fronted by Stephen McBean (who also brings his love of heights and colors to his other band, the Pink Mountaintops), Black Mountain’s hard-edged, but never pummeling, sound evokes the past (Sabbath, Floyd) as much as the present (stoner rock bands like Queens of the Stone Age). “In the Future” — with its smart, lengthy electric riffs and quiet acoustic interludes — stands on its own as one of 2008′s early essential rock records.

An anachronism in the MP3 age, album sounds better when taken as a whole. Sometimes sweet (“Stay Free”) and sometimes menacing (“Tyrants”), it all culminates in the epic 16-minute scorcher “Bright Lights,” while vocalist Amber Webber (who also sings lead on the PJ Harvey-channeling “Queens Will Play”) closes the album with the wispy “Night Walks.” If pared down, the droning minimalist almost-pop of “Wucan” could be a radio hit.

Black Mountain - 'In the Future'

Jagjaguwar Records
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