Mountaineer - Bloodletting review

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Band: Mountaineer
Album: Bloodletting
Release date: May 2020

01. Blood Of The Book
02. The Weeds I Have Tended
03. Shot Through With Sunlight
04. To Those We've Said Goodbye
05. Bloodletting
06. South To Infinity
07. Apart
08. Ghost Story
09. Still 

If Fluisteraars's Bloem is this year's warmest black metal, then Mountaineer's Bloodletting is this year's warmest post-metal album.

Mountaineer is a Californian-based American post-metal band. Don't worry, I haven't heard of them either before being drawn to the cover art. But it seems that they were quite prolific in their 5 years existence, already having came out with three full-lengths and one EP. And each of those felt less and less like bog-standard post-metal, until we reach Bloodletting, which is still somewhat post-metal at its core, but it's so warm and bright that I'll obviously have to acknowledge the one perpetrator of the un-darkening of metal in the past decade: shoegaze.

Ah, shoegaze, we meet again. You didn't leave sludge alone in Torche, and while black metal has been infiltrated first, post-metal is probably the second sub-genre most prone to catching some shoegaze. A lot of metalgaze bands on our site are tagged as both "atmospheric black metal" and "post-metal", because this is the closest we can get, and because post-rock is also a big part of the sound as well. But to have something purely post-metal sound so bright, that hasn't happened since last year's Arctic Sleep. Alright, so nothing new, why am I talking so much about genres and gaze and why can't I just get to the point? Because Bloodletting does feel fairly unique despite not being much more other than the natural conclusion of what has been going on with post-metal and shoegaze in the past decade.

Obviously when I say shoegaze, it's more of an amalgamation of post-rock, alt rock, dream pop, neo-psychedelia, grunge and indie rock that came from the 90s. Each to varying degrees. It being a post-metal band, the post-rock is the one strongest felt, with its heartwarming tones in instrumental approach. Bloodletting feels like the opposite of a crushing dark and aggressive record, and yet it's still a recognizably metal record for the most part. It's as atmospheric as Garganjua's record earlier this year, but the tones are a lot warmer, the vocals a lot more emotional as well, this time way more on the cleaner side. It can meander all it wants in cleaner and mellower sections, but when the wave of guitar distortion hits, as warm as it is, it's still damn heavy.

This feels like it's exploring some avenues of metal that were left unattended for too long. Emotions deemed to positive or melancholia deemed not depressive enough. This feels nostalgic, but not in a nostalgia-bait way. This feels like meeting your friends after the lockdown is over to reminisce over memories you've had together. And all of them still shrouded in waves and waves of massively heavy guitars, throbbing bass and pounding drums. And while the heavier moments and mellower moments can still be separated, they're still so well integrated and cohesive that it never feels like two different sounds, but rather two sides of the same coin. It's a beautiful record, only further expanded by the band's dynamic songwriting and the luscious production.

And if they could have so much growth in 5 years, I think we're in for some great music in the coming years.


Written on 06.06.2020 by My opinion is objective, sorry if you don't agree, but you're wrong.


Comments: 3   Visited by: 38 users
07.06.2020 - 05:17
Ace Frawley
The Spaceman
Thanks for the review, I've learnt of a new band and a new album that I'm now interested in getting.
The sun shines over The Fool...
07.06.2020 - 08:15
Written by Ace Frawley on 07.06.2020 at 05:17

Thanks for the review, I've learnt of a new band and a new album that I'm now interested in getting.

You're welcome
- I've dreamt of that for years.
- Dying?
- Running.

2020 goodies
10.06.2020 - 02:03
Au Pays Natal
Mid-point post metal AOTY. Really improved with each release. Check them out from the beginning. Excellent review and thanks.

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