Wind Of The Black Mountains - Summoned By Shadows [Moribind Records - 2020]Do you enjoy messy lo-fi ‘n’ crude blacked metal that shifts between haphazard speed-ness and mid-paced evil-ness, with keyboards & lots of campy/ prime evil moody bits/ break downs?. Then I’d say Summoned By Shadows is tailor made for you- this twenty three track CD is a posthumously release from Wind Of The Black Mountains- who are seen as one of founding fathers of US Black metal. And surprisingly for such of a release made up of odds ‘n’ ends, different takes, etc- it’s fairly consistent & listenable though-out, with only a few tracks dipping into repetition & mediocrity.
Wind Of The Black Mountains formed around 1992 in Jackson, Michigan- to begin with it was the solo project of Tchort( aka Jeff Elrod)- who had played guitar on the first Lucifer's Hammer album, as well playing drums, guitars, keyboards for Masochist. Wind of the Black Mountains eventually evolved into a full band…but seemingly Tchort's was still key/ centre to the band on their two released albums 1998’s Sing Thou Unholy Servants, and 2002 Black Sun Shall Rise. Sadly Elrod passed at the young age of 37 due to drugs- and going from the evidence here he had a real talent for making gnarled, nasty, yet prime evil moody & memorable USBM.
After a minute & half intro track we’re into the pummelling 'n' speeding maelstrom of "Rise From the Embers"- which is a wonderful blacked mess of chaotic galloping & darting riff craft, bayed & hissed vocals, crashing ‘n’ smashing drums, and very necro hazed production. As we move on we come to clamouring & chugging mayhem of “Bring Forth Demonic Torture”- which mid way drops into awkward doomy slug, ghostly choir samples, grainy noise clutter & spiralling sour guitar soloing- all of course topped off with the baying snarled vocals. By track six “Bleed For Thy Sins” we come to the more atmopshere forward side of the band- here we find blend of clear & dark picked guitar, bobing ‘n trobbing bass, wonky keyboard organ moodiness, and grainy- hissing ‘n’ slurred whispered vocals. By track twelve we have the bonding & almost akward blacked groove of “Force fed Into Blaspmany prt 2” where we find bonding bass ‘n’ guitar moving with moody drums fills and wonky guitar/ key stabs ‘n’ weaves. Sure we do get a few alternative versions of a few tracks over the releases run- but the way they are spaced out, and fairly different takes means you don’t become to jaded.
All in all Summoned By Shadows is a great sonic statement of Tchort ability to create black metal that was both darkly memorable & moody- yet at the same time wonky ‘n’ crude. Hats off to Moribind and the other folk who where involved with putting this release out as it really is a fitting tribute to the projects sound.