Black Mountain, 'Wilderness Heart' (Jagjaguwar)

6
Wilderness Heart
Critical Mass
Label: Jagjaguwar

by Spencer Kornhaber

For 2008's In the Future, these Black Sabbath revivalists were engaged in deep dungeon exploration, culminating in the 17-minute incantation "Bright Lights." But on the Vancouver collective's third album, they sound like they're defending a well-tended forest encampment. Car-motor riffs still power "Bark at the Moon"–style scream-alongs like "Let Spirits Ride," but nearly half the album delivers folk ballads that could be distant descendents of "Greensleeves." Throughout, the band find unity in instrumental economy, transcendental yet blood-soaked lyrics, and the heart-exploding power of spooky, organ-girded climaxes.

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