Now I have been waiting a long time for this. I first came across Mountains Crave a few years ago with their track ‘The Violet Hour’, and have slavered in hope that a full length would eventually appear. And here it is, the enigmatically titled ‘As We Were When We Were Not’, coming out on Avantgarde Music in May. Something bleak and black for the coming spring!
Opener ‘Ynisvitrin’ opens with ritualistic whispering before a cold, bleak black metal riff takes us far from our safe, warm place. Bleak, depressing black metal is the name of the game here, with hypnotic melodies soaring above a frozen waste. Far more melodic than it has any right to be, Mountains Crave have injected a vastness and a glorious atmosphere here. The ethereal delights of ‘Clear Light of the Void’ sounds like if Isis had made black metal instead of post metal. It is expansive, melodic and yet intensely grim in parts.
The grasp of dynamic shifts in pacing, volume and ferocity here is staggering. Effortlessly darting between blasting torrents of ferocious black metal and delicate, contemplative acoustics, Mountains Crave have designed and crafted one of the most starkly beautiful records I’ve come across in years. The shimmering open to ‘O Arise Magnificent Sun’ is breathtaking, as is the soaring keyboards. If for whatever reason you are sleeping on this band or this record, then wake up now, because these guys could be the next Wolves in the Throne Room. A stunning record.