Saturday, December 04, 2010

Horseback: The Invisible Mountain (2009)

Horseback's The Invisible Mountain has made some end-of-the-year lists as a release to watch for (which is puzzling since it actually came out in 2009, but was re-released in 2010), and it sounded interesting to me. So, I checked it out.

It's probably a stretch to call this psychedelic black metal. It's psychedelic enough, but very light on the metal. The vocals do sound like a God-damned nightmare whispering unintelligible atrocities in your ear (seriously, they are scary) but harsh vocals alone don't make it metal.

The music on the first three (of four) tracks follows generally the same pattern: a distorted guitar riff, bass riff, and understated drums are buried in the background, while a clean psychedelic-sounding riff is in the foreground. Each of these songs, about seven minutes each, is built on this one riff combination repeated over and over. At times there may be electric organ buried deep in the mix, and there are a couple simple psyched-out solos.

Sounds like boring crap, suitable only for stoners, right? For some reason I can't explain, it works anyway. It is interesting. That is, up until the last track. Clocking in at over 16 minutes in length, it does away with distortion almost entirely, and goes very minimal, with some weird sounds coming in later on. It's a complete throwaway track, but I suppose it's designed for people coming down off of whatever.

The Verdict: This drug-fest is actually interesting, for about 21 minutes, and would have been an excellent EP. But it's a full-length, and as a full-length it earns 3 out of 5 stars.

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