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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Modern Classic, 26 Jan 2008
This review is from: In The Future (Audio CD)
I can't stop listening to this album to be quite honest. Black Mountain are a band that manage to give direct nods to great old bands and artists such as Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Pink Floyd, Black Sabbath, Neil Young and The Velvet Underground without ever sounding like a pale imitation (Wolfmother/The Darkness). They actually sound very fresh and new. The album contains a wonderful mixture of styles ranging from thumping hard rock and spacey progressive rock to gentle folk music. It's refreshing to see a modern band really lay down some big tremendous riffs that don't just sound like noise. Organs, mellotrons and synthesizers drone in and out of each track creating these deep sonic atmospheres that are really quite wonderful to listen to and experience. They are also not afraid of asking for a little patience and attention from the listener too - the epic track, Bright Lights, goes on for over sixteen minutes! There is not one dull track on this album, the arrangements and musicianship displayed in each song is quite masterful. If you're a fan of early seventies rock music and looking for something new I suggest you buy it.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding Classic Rock for the Noughties, 3 Feb 2008
By 
Timothy P. Taylor (Bolton, Lancs United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: In The Future (Audio CD)
Very very occasionally in the 35 years I have been buying music an album comes along which blows away my cynacism and grabs holds of both of my earholes, gets under my skin and into my phsyce. This is one of those albums.

This really is an absolutely outstanding album, a candidate for album of the year already. The influences are very clear Purple, Sabbath, Floyd, Spiritulized, Uriah Heep, Bowie and yes Evil Ways does indeed sound like Wolfmother. All of these things are good, very good indeed. With a liberal sprinkeling of stunning originality and a drummer obviously taught by Thor, the God of Thunder, himself thrown in for good measure. I love it.

The slow ones are addictive the fast ones really rock, most have a combination of both. The band create a real tension throughout which makes foor compelling listening.

The stand out track has to be Bright Lights from the hypnotic opening through the heavy sections which gallop(like Lizzy on speed but with low tuning) to the extended organ section which has some marvellous bass. Stormy High sets the scene (it still sounds similar to Shoot the Runner by Kasabian to me!). The music ducks and dives, twists and turns keeping interest levels high through the album. I challenge any one not to become totalling addicted to Queens Will Play a seductive riff building and challenging all the way.

Dont even think about it buy this album now, it'll be the best thing you do for yourself in 2008.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mature Music, 21 Jan 2008
This review is from: In The Future (Audio CD)
I had my reservations initially as for me the album just, narrowly failed to take off on an initial listen. Maybe I didn't appreciate the fuzzy guitars properly, or maybe the laconicly drawled vocals just didn't hit the mark. Perhaps the Deep Purply organ bits were a bit derivative, or perhaps I couldn't quite get the way they build a song up, slow it down, let rip again, slow down again.... but one thing I did realise on my first encounter was that the drums are BRILLIANT, big noisy almost Glam Rock in places, smashing!

So I gave it another go, listening to the whole album again in a darkened room with a glass of whisky in my hand and it began to make sense. There are more ideas in here than in a career load of Arctic Monkey albums.

This is mature music, discerning music, cerebral music even. But it wigs out as well. All the pieces in themselves are interesting and well worth listening to in isolation but the album should be listened to as a whole as it comes together in a coherent and heavily melodic fashion. It's prog, it's psychedelic, it's heavy, it's beautiful! In fact this is the sort of album you will put on repeat for 4 or 5 listens at a time as there is so much in here.

(Worth getting the bonus album for the three extra tracks as well)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hypnotic and hard-rocking offering from leaders in a field of one, 20 April 2008
By 
Matt Pucci "mattpucci.com" (Here, there and everywhere) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: In The Future (Audio CD)
Not that you'd know it - what with this only being their second album - but Black Mountain main-man Stephen McBean has been around a long time. Then again, the tell-tale signs are all here: after all, you don't get to be this good at writing riffs overnight. And make no mistake, these are some of the best you'll hear all year - be they colossal, pedal-to-the-metal behemoths ('Stormy High') or delicate, exquisitely-crafted gems that lodge themselves in your brain and remain there for several days ('Wucan').

Every descriptive term used by previous reviewers - swirling, psychedelic, folky - is entirely apt, as are the references to the musical greats of the past. For those with a more modern taste, however... well, comparisons are little scarce. Not because Black Mountain sound old-fashioned, because they don't - and in fact, there is a distinct vivacity to these songs that makes a large proportion of the current crop of mainstream favourites sound extremely tired and dated. It's just that there isn't really anyone doing anything similar. That said, you may hear elements of My Morning Jacket, Queens of the Stone Age and the criminally underrated Oneida, so if they're among the artists on your current playlist, or you're one of the few listeners out there that doesn't get bored of a song after three minutes, this might just be your new favourite band.

Matt Pucci
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Scaling the mountain, 24 Jan 2008
By 
E. A Solinas "ea_solinas" (MD USA) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: In The Future (Audio CD)
Black Mountain exists in a swirl of heavy, grimy, vaguely psychedelic hard-rock, redolent of Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin (with maybe a touch of the Velvet Underground and Pink Floyd).

And the band is in fine shape in their sophomore album "In The Future" -- they introduce some new musical twists, while still keeping their signature sound. It's a powerful, intense collection of hard-rockers, but with a few softer songs sprinkled in to show their range.

It opens with a grimy riff, a dark stomping bassline, and some smashing drums -- and for a minute, the appropriately-named "Stormy High" whips itself into a barely-restrained frenzy. When Stephen McBean's wailing vocals join the mix, the song straightens out into a solid, intense rocker that blasts its way down, reeking of classic rock concerts and apocalyptic fury.

Having reeled you in, Black Mountain turns out the bluesy "Angels," with McBean lamenting, "Come on, lay your head on down/angels, lay your arms around/every city's singing saddened songs...." And that quieter song is echoed in some of the others -- mournful folkiness, haunting fuzzy songs, or the ethereal closing lament "Night Walks."

But they haven't abandoned the harder music, thankfully. This is where their real power erupts out -- simmering hard-rock, gritty psychedelica wound with synth, stormy twisting electro-metal, and the penultimate song -- a seventeen-minute epic journey through explosive hard-rock, solemn organ instrumentals, and an earsplitting finale.

Whoo. What a ride. It's been only three years since Black Mountain came out with their self-titled album and EP -- it was great music, but still raw and unformed. They've obviously done a lot of work in that time, because "In the Future" is a whole different beast -- they're more polished, focused and eclectic in their sounds.

Like any good hard-rock album, it's got loads of twisting, undulating riffs and heavy basslines, fused into strong, muscular melodies -- also mix in smashing drums, tambourine, some somnolent organ, and acoustic guitar. And the band can switch styles in an instant -- for instance, "Tyrants" effortlessly flips between wistful Renaissancey ballads, and epic, powerful sweeps of hard-rock.

Also take note: there's a lot more synth in this album than in their previous one. It's all very early 1970s -- colourful psychedelic ribbons wound through "Wucan," plenty of harmonium, and strangled keyboard notes.

McBean's voice hasn't changed, though -- he's still high and waily, and in the louder songs he sounds like he's leading an army ("The heart it waaaas/howling in the heavens... we will come together!"). He shares vocal time with Amber Webber, whose smooth wistful voice sounds at home whether she's dueting with him, or singing the softer songs by herself.

"In the Future" is the natural evolution of Black Mountain -- a powerful, polished, intense retro-rock collection. This is one mountain that's worth scaling all the way.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dark howl, 19 Jan 2008
By 
James Lappin (Ireland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: In The Future (Audio CD)
In the future picks up where BM debut left off and then speeds off at 100mph in every direction. This album is immense. Angels are groaning to break free from it bluesy roots, then moving onto possibly the best track on the album, Wucans, fantastic layered track of synths, guitars - impeccable track. Moving onto the folksy track of stay free which is very stones, not out of place on 'sticky fingers'. The only down side to this album is that it is very much a A side and B side album.

The future looks bright for McBean and co. Also, if you like this, check out the pink mountaintops - a McBean side project.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Journey Back to the Primordial Mountain, 19 May 2013
By 
R. Morley (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: In The Future (Audio CD)
One of the very best bands of recent years, Black Mountain's music echoes with rumours of Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd, but at the same time has a distinctly North American flavour that is all their own. This particular album is, in my opinion, worthy of mention alongside those aforementioned greats. If you're new to the band, the journey should start right here.

The sound is as beautifully raw as a Rocky Mountain hillside, but there is black magic sophistication at work here too. Take Wucan, a heavy psychedelic trip with ghostly vocals and a bass line that pulsates like the sun. Then there is the extremely gorgeous acoustic number Stay Free, the like of which brings balance to an album laced elsewhere with towering riffs and bruising, Bonham-esque drumming.

The most ambitious piece of this magnificent work is Bright Lights, a 16-minute tour-de-force that challenges on first listen, but is handled with such skill that it never quite strays off the precipice. In The Future is heavy in a refreshing, non-contrived way - the talented musicians always allowing both music and listener, to breathe, even as the deepest recesses of the mind are penetrated.

This album could pass as a lost 70s gem, but in reality is as timeless as the best works from that golden era. In the sparse, Ballardian imagery it conjures, it resonates loudly with the primeval human soul. It is this, along with exceptional musicianship, which marks In The Future as a rarity.
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4.0 out of 5 stars In the Future, lies the past., 7 April 2013
By 
Pesto Fingeration (Chez Vegas, Englandland) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: In The Future (Audio CD)
For whatever reason, this album kept cropping up in my Amazon recommendations, but, knowing what is best for me I didn't act upon it. Because I'm a full on METAL HEAD with a PROG PREDILICTION and I couldn't see how this would fit in with that. I mean, do you ever see anybody with "Black Mountain" embroidered on the back of their cut-off denim?
Then, one Friday night after partaking of some falling down water it managed to inveigle its way into my basket. Then it arrived, and blow me, if it's not a full on darn good album?
How would I describe it? Well maybe Jefferson Airplane meets Black Sabbath, maybe. Whatever it ROCKS with a full on 70s sensibility and it's stuffed full of MELLOTRON. Nice.

Stand out track is the 17 minutes of Bright Lights which starts out in an Indie kind of way but ends up a full-on Hawkwind style wig out with (early) Floydian bits stuck in for good measure.

The Finger says BUY WITH CONFIDENCE!!!!!!
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5.0 out of 5 stars An original amalgamation of your classic 70's rock, 8 July 2011
This review is from: In The Future (Audio CD)
I first listened to this album (Deluxe Edition) whilst assembling a new BBQ. To put things in perspective, it took me 5 hours to put the BBQ together, however having listened to this album front to back 4 times by the time i'd finished, the (normally) arduous and monotonous task at hand seemed somewhat insignificant and timeless !

You can really lose your sense of time and reality within the psychedelic mix of classic 70's rock, heavy bass and drum beats and slow melancholic melodies. A roller coaster ride on the highest mountain.

A nostalgic trip but with a definite sound of originality given the genre !

An ABSOLUTE MUST for your collection (Make sure you get the Deluxe edition, well worth the 3 extra tracks) !!!
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5.0 out of 5 stars a real gem, 3 Sep 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: In The Future (Audio CD)
This is a very special album , deserving 5 stars, if you like Led Zep.. and abit of rock you are sure to like this
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