We’re a mere two weeks away from the release of Black Mountain’s newest opus Destroyer, an album I’ve been anticipating since the day it was announced. Black Mountain work a certain voodoo in their sound, one where the swirl of psychedelia, 70s prog, and 80s leather jacket heavy metal all coalesce into a massive shot of heady boogie rock. With Destroyer, it seems that the 80s leather jacket heavy metal is winning out. Previous releases from the new album “Future Shade” and “Boogie Lover” show no signs of quiet interludes or introspective naval gazing. It’s all pure rock and roll bliss with a touch of space-y goodness courtesy of Jeremy Schmidt’s synthesizer mastery.
The latest single is “License To Drive” and it seems to have nothing in common with the Corey’s insepid 80s film of the same name that featured the Billy Ocean “stranger danger” theme song “Get Outta My Dreams, Get Into My Car”. Black Mountain’s “License To Drive” is a full force heavy metal banger, complete with chugging rhythm guitar reminiscent of classic Judas Priest and UFO. And apparently a lot of the album was influenced by lead singer Stephen McBean getting his driver’s license and all the road freedom that gives a person.
The song opens with acoustic guitar and things seem to be heading into a more introspective direction, but then the drums kick in with full force and the song charges right into NWOBHM territory. New member Rachel Fannan’s vocals fill in nicely where the amazing Amber Webber used to sing, and Fannan is quite the melodious match for Stephen McBean’s hard rock howl. I was worried that the loss of Webber and drummer Joshua Wells may have been too much for Black Mountain to continue, but it seems that’s not the case. Now if longtime keyboardist Jeremy Schmidt(Sinoia Caves) had parted ways with the band then that’d be a different story. Happy to report that Schmidt is indeed still along for the ride and his playing on “License To Drive” is glorious and massive.
Check out “License To Drive” below and get yer preorder in right here for Destroyer. The Black Mountain Army approaches.