Tuesday, April 21, 2009

This White Mountain - This White Mountain EP

Age is truly just a number. Racer mentioned a few weeks back about a band called Robbers, comprised of pre or early twentysomethings who have created a sound far more mature than their age would suggest. There must be something in the water, coz’ I just received a disc that actually stunned me to the point of being incapable to form coherent sentences. This White Mountain is a one man writing, performing, and recording unit that specializes in ambient blackened death metal that sounds like it could fit next to the classics of the genre. Oh right, the composer? He’s only seventeen. One year away from being viewed as an adult by the state, four years from being able to legally consume alcohol, and currently old enough to create moving pieces of music that captivate the imagination with touches of emotion and melody, and all in a very mature manner.

This is a disc that won’t call to all of you Waveriders, but then again, perhaps it will. If you stop long enough to let the waves of dissonance crash over you and embrace it as natural, the quieter moments that follow will sweep you to a land of the farthest reaches of your subconscious. Those noisier flurries of chaos will suddenly feel much more necessary. You can’t totally appreciate peaceful seashores if you haven’t experienced those same shores during a storm. This White Mountain is filled with moments like this.

Parts of this release remind me of the more ambient and moody moments of bands like Enslaved, especially as the distorted guitars drone over the beat and the haunting synthesizers hum menacingly in the background. There’s a definite dark imagery going on here, but also one of solitude and loneliness. This would actually be a fantastic disc to listen to while hiking along some mountain trails, all alone with nature, basking in the organic surroundings. Though dark and foreboding, This White Mountain isn’t necessarily cold music. In fact, the grooves and rhythms have a heaviness to them that provides much needed warmth in the desolation of the subject matter . . . subject matter that you’ll have to make your own inference on since this is a completely instrumental release. And maybe that’s why this EP could be viewed as a more accessible form of Black Metal. Historically, the vocals with their screeching insanity drive the faint of heart away from this form of music. But take away the vocals and we’re left with the root form of the art and the folk-y aspects rise to the surface to show the music in its truest form.

A little over twenty minutes in length, including a bonus track, This White Mountain is a quick dose of Black Metal that won’t drive away the peasants and may very well bring new listeners to the genre. The soundscapes that the young Kevin Narowski provides are filled with luxurious beauty that contrasts perfectly with the more abrasive passages of the EP. I can’t find a weak moment on here. The opening acoustic guitar passage on “Haunting Words” and as the music begins to swirl with a barrage six string distortion, the distorted delay textures of those same guitars on “”Steps on Air / Void” as they lay down a foundation for the spooky keyboards to add texture, the eerie melody running through “Seabirds,” man . . . I really could go on for hours celebrating the magnificence of this work. I have to keep reminding myself that this is one person creating all of this in their home studio. I’ll be keeping a close eye on young Master Narowski. His future looks bright even if his music isn’t! - Pope JTE


Anonymous said...

Great review! This White Mountain fucking rules!

musicmaniac said...

I love reading blog about music.Nice info,superb.

GunTheVillain said...

Cool review! Sounds like a solid band, I suppose I should check him out! :D

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