"Tyrants" by Black Mountain
Black Mountain's self-titled 2005 debut was crammed full of Sabbath-inspired riffs and thick, druggy dirges, and the Vancouver quintet seemed poised to charge Queens Of The Stone Age's stoner-rock castle, unkempt beards flapping wildly in the wind. In The Future offers the same intense, throbbing psych-prog, but with a few new, welcome flourishes: Stephen McBean's deep, throaty howls remain paramount, but vocalist Amber Webber is a much more prominent force now, and her otherworldly warbles balance nicely against McBean's pipes. Structurally, Black Mountain still favors quick changes and untraceable arrangements, and although it's easy to accuse the band of aping all of 1975 (at times, Black Mountain sounds like the best Led Zeppelin cover band ever), the riffs are mostly unimpeachable. The eight-minute single "Tyrants" is an epic celebration of what Black Mountain does best, with its intense, building guitar slams, bowel-emptying drums, and sudden bursts of calm. Loud-quiet-loud has never been so dizzying.