A mysterious transmission came through the computer I was using during my live radiocast of Episode 3 of 2 IN THE SAME BOAT with MoJoe & Vincent. It was from the AndroidVirus himself, instant messaging me nothing more than “Review This,” and a link to this album titled Into The Future by some band called BLACK MOUNTAIN. No other info. I’ve never heard of them before, but when he does this, it’s usually something worth checking out.
However, The cover instantly grabbed my attention, being that of a parched and wilted landscape, appearing much like the surface of Mars, with small pools of shallow and stagnant water here and there. *(Our Earthen future, no doubt, especially given the title of the album.) Almost perfectly symmetrical, in the center of the pic, breaks forth a triangle, the inside of which is made of again of perfectly symmetrical cubes. In the background, peering out from amongst a thick layer of ashen, dehumidified cloud, is a menacing yet distant sun, either icy-hot or searing-cold. *(This amazing, brilliant painting was apparently done by keyboardist JEREMY SCHMIDT, and is apparently based upon the work of STORM THORGERSON, who’s done cover art work for everyone from PINK FLOYD to BRUCE DICKINSON to ANTHRAX.) Now, question is, would the music contained within this massive tome of an album live up to the epic, deeply psychological implications and sheer desperate beauty of this epic-in-scope album cover?
The answer to that question is a simple, surprising yes. In fact, throughout the course of this monolith of an album, it seems a touch of all acts mentioned above seem to creep in here and there. It starts off with a thick slab of stoner rock called “Stormy High,” and from there drifts into some serious DEEP PURPLE & psychedelic-era BLACK SABBATH territory, before seamlessly slipping into SYD BARRETT era-PINK FLOYD land for a bit. From there it only grows more epic, experimental, and spiritually deep (on a universal scale); a genreless *(fukk genres), sometimes bleak, often beautifully haunting sonic experience. The tales they tell are of a planetary death through her keepers *(the human race’s) own self entitled apathy.
The album ends with the deceptively upbeat stoner/bluespunk/space rock, HAWKWIND-like thrum of a song called “Black Cat” *(which still manages, in all its manic glory, to end the album on a hauntingly strange note). The beautiful “Night Walks” is written by member AMANDA WEBBER *(all other songs written by founder STEPHEN McBEAN), and is a strong piece of spoken word over almost interstellar sounds, an outpouring of surrealist imagery tangled with the emotions of the soul, and the complexities and conflicts of the overthinking mind. “Bright Lights,” though, is my favorite piece on the album. It comes off like a an ancient ritual of some kind that has conjured a monstrosity of uncontrolled space & time travel. At 16+ minutes, it’s also the longest song on the album. Once the explosive 2nd act begins you’ll appreciate it that much more. Again, this one comes off a lot like mid-70’s HAWKWIND at their finest, most predominantly in song structure. The rest of the songs, for the most part, are of a standard length, yet all kind of run together. However, the album does manage to clock in at a lengthy one hour, twelve minutes, and 37 seconds long. *(You’ll want to roll a couple before hand.)
This is an album MADE to be listened to in one sitting, not song by song. It’s actually BLACK MOUNTAIN’s 2nd album, from 2008. The middle chapter of three full lengths – – – the center of the covers triangle, perhaps? They’ve been around since 2005, and also have 2 eps. I HIGHLY recommend INTO THE FUTURE for fans of stoner/prog/space rock with a twist, and have minds open enough to completely experimental sounds, and an appreciation, and tolerance, for epic, monolithic music in general.
Vincent Daemon, writer, editor, musician, photgrapher, film/music buff and historian, and rabblerouser, can be found on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/vincent.daemon.1 as well as his spontaneously updated blog of writing news and nonsense THE WRITINGS OF A DEPRAVED MIND http://vincentdaemon.blogspot.com/Some of his music can be painfully experienced at http://www.reverbnation.com/vincentdaemonsageofdesire3 His email firstname.lastname@example.org