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Black Mountain

Crossover Prog

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Black Mountain Wilderness Heart album cover
3.48 | 40 ratings | 3 reviews | 20% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 2010

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. The Hair Song (3:55)
2. Old Fangs (4:01)
3. Radiant Hearts (3:52)
4. Rollercoaster (5:16)
5. Let Spirits Ride (4:20)
6. Buried by the Blues (4:03)
7. The Way to Gone (4:03)
8. Wilderness Heart (3:58)
9. The Space of Your Mind (4:14)
10. Sadie (5:10)

Total Time 42:52

Line-up / Musicians

- Amber Webber / vocals, percussion
- Stephen McBean / vocals, acoustic & electric guitars
- Jeremy Schmidt / organ, synth, Mellotron
- Matthew Camirand / bass, baritone guitar
- Joshua Wells / drums, percussion, piano, vocals

Releases information

Artwork: Jeremy Schmidt

CD Jagjaguwar ‎- JAG175 (2010, US)

LP Jagjaguwar ‎- JAG175 (2010, US)

Digital album

Thanks to snobb for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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BLACK MOUNTAIN Wilderness Heart ratings distribution

(40 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(20%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(42%)
Good, but non-essential (30%)
Collectors/fans only (2%)
Poor. Only for completionists (5%)

BLACK MOUNTAIN Wilderness Heart reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by snobb
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Third Black Mountain's studio album is nice release, full of vintage rock melodies, slight psychedelia and shadows of hard-rock monsters from 70-s.

Band uses there their strong points - excellent male/female vocals duets, melodic tunes and successfully revitalized atmosphere of early 70-s. Happily, they don't sound as clone. Yes, you will easily hear influences of Led Zeppelin, Ozzy's black Sabbath and even early Deep Purple on this album, but musicians are skilled enough to sound on their own manner.

Main accent of all recording is made not in heavy rock legacy, but more classic rock sound with doze of psychedelia. Main problem for many prog fans will be there are not many elements of prog at all in this album's music. But for listeners, angry for talented musicians, reworking best hard rock from early 70-s, this album could be really nice present.

My rating is 3+.

Review by Conor Fynes
3 stars 'Wilderness Heart' - Black Mountain (5/10)

The third album from Black Mountain shows the band developing their sound even further. Best described as their 'maturation' record, 'Wilderness Heart' shows Black Mountain really getting their presentation down and consolidating their music, but still, something feels missing here. While 'In The Future' remains the most inventive thing that Black Mountain has ever released, 'Wilderness Heart' shows the band at their most refined, even if it still results in a fairly bland release.

Although the past of Black Mountain has relied mainly on retro rock conventions, 'Wilderness Heart' shows the band really embracing modern rock sounds, although some sounds from classic rock and 70's prog still remain. There are mellotrons, psychedelic samples and exotic sounds that sound like they could have been taken from Led Zeppelin's 'Kashmir' here, all thrown atop some fairly conventional songwriting. Black Mountain was relatively adventurous with their second album, really letting loose with experimentation with the sixteen minute track 'Bright Lights' really coming to mind. Here, Black Mountain has become almost something of a standard rock band that one could hear on the radio, with a few prog sounds thrown in here and there for the sake of good measure. Surprisingly enough, this isn't the worst possible idea for the band, due to the fact that while they showed promise while tugging their psychedelic influences, they never really grabbed hold of it. Here, 'Wilderness Heart' shows the band stripping down, but the presentation simultaneously improves. The vocals are still very twangy and none too pleasant to listen to, but are certainly a step up from the poor Arcade Fire-knock off I heard on the debut.

While it is something of a step forward for Black Mountain, 'Wilderness Heart' also doesn't have the same shock value. There is also more than enough of this sort of radio-friendly rock to go around, and quite frankly, there are many bands that do it better than these guys. The development here is audible however, and it makes one wonder that providing they choose to work out a fourth album, whether or not it will be another step forward for the band.

Review by TCat
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars Wilderness Heart is Black Mountain's 3rd full album. Black Mountain is one of those bands that you think of when someone makes the statement, 'They don't have great rock bands like they used to.'. There are, of course, many great bands out there, you just have to sift through a lot more music than you used to. Black Mountain is one of those great bands that make music as great as the rock you remember from those bygone days. They are reminiscent of Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, and so on, and if they were around the same time as these bands, they would be holding their own with them.

Black Mountain has two lead singers, Stephen McBean and Amber Webber. They sing both simultaneously and also taking turns. Their voices compliment each other well, and they both have great and distinctive voices that are easy to get used to. The music on this album is very blues based, and you can hear a lot of great keyboards like churning organs (as on 'Old Fangs') and heavy guitars (like on the progressive 'Rollercoaster'), just like you hear in those mega bands of the 70s. You even almost expect to hear Ozzy's voice on the song 'Let Spirits Ride' which is a hard rocker's dream, but then on the last instrumental break, you get surprised with an organ solo a la Deep Purple.

This album isn't quite as progressive as their last album 'In the Future', but it still has enough progressive elements to make it all worth while. Besides, the retro sound is so authentic, you probably won't even mind. 'Buried by the Blues' is a beautiful quasi-ballad with acoustic guitars and mellotron sounding keyboards. This basic sound continues into the next track, 'The Way to Gone', with more of a heavier beat which leads into an amazing guitar solo. The spooky sounding background vocals on this track give it the perfect atmosphere. 'Wilderness Heart' erupts immediately after with a heavy hook and churning bass that will remind you of great stoner rock. Amber's vibrato compliments the song giving one flashbacks of Grace Slick. Even though a little more development in the songs would have been welcome, there really are no weak tracks here, it's just one great track after another.

I make all these comparisons with older bands, but the music is original enough that the tunes are all unique and not merely copycat. The influences are all there, but Black Mountain's music feels like it deserves to be right next to the greats of the classic rock era. This is one band that deserves so much more attention, and they give hope that the best rock ever is still out there. I do wish this album was a little more progressive and that is the only thing keeping it from being a 5 star album, but it is done so well and the music is so enjoyable, that you hardly even notice. A little more development in the songs and longer solos would have been welcome also, but again, this is still a great album with a lot of surprises and quality hard rock that it still manages to get 4 stars.

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