Horseback

The Invisible Mountain

Written by: PP on 08/12/2010 22:12:32

Don't you just hate it when you discover a new band and find a ton of reasons why it's good, only to see that thought shatter to pieces because of something devastatingly annoying that you just can't accept to suit the music at all? That is the case with me and Horseback, a North Carolina avant-garde drone metal outfit, who released four tracks and 38 minutes worth of atmospheric drone known as "The Invisible Mountain" through Relapse earlier this year.

It all starts out so well. The guitars are heavily down-tuned, resonating in the low, bass-heavy end of the musical spectrum. They are also fuzzy and slow, and carry an extensive sense of psychedelia, often described as a "post-metallic kraut rock journey", but one that's best described as hypnotic by nature. There are bays of relaxing atmospheres, contrasted with dense walls of sound nicely...and then there's the vocalist. God damn, he is awful, and the one and only reason why I cannot award Horseback a reasonably high rating. I've no idea why such a decision was made, but he roams in the worst possible percentage of vocal styles, using gargling whispers and incoherent snarling that are placed somewhere in the background behind the instruments. Not only are his 'sounds' disgusting, they also fail to add anything to the otherwise nicely constructed and carefully fine-tuned soundscape. Using even a regular growler, or a clean vocalist for that matter, or god forbid no vocalist at all, would've benefited the band more than they can possibly imagine. As it stands now, all the good in the instrumentation, the lengthy experimentation and thought-processes placed on crafting the instrumental side to the album, is weighed and dragged down to oblivion by this guy. Maybe it's just me, but I cannot stand his vocals, and that ruins the entire experience for me.

4

Download: Invokation
For the fans of: Earth, Svarti Loghin, drone metal
Listen: Myspace

Release date 03.08.2010
Relapse

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