Mountainwolf: Absinthe Moon

Heavy-riff-packed, spaciously produced, and performed with zeal and competence, Absinthe Moon, the sophomore full length record by Maryland heavy rock trio, Mountainwolf, is that stoner rock album of the year that goes beyond the genre's standards to transport you across the gigantic expanse of heavy music and some of its plentiful of subgenres.

With a massive sound, graciously established on the blues as well as regular good old hard rock and psychedelia, Mountainwolf pick things up where they left off in 2015 and their deservedly highly acclaimed debut, The Silk Road. This time the band's passionate proclivity for experimentation and adventure seem to have evolved into something even more progressive, more conscientiously thought out, and at the end of the day, more engaging.

A few weeks ago the album's lead single, Lord Reekis, gave us a little insight on the new album, its energy and the band's growth, but little did we know that the great track was not even the most impressive moment on Absinthe Moon.

The far-reaching, emotionally extensive second half of the album, beginning with the notable title track, through the dynamic instrumental, Water, which brings to mind a lot from the fired up spirit of the first couple of albums by stoner fuzz masters, Solace, over to the flawless stoner rocker, Tsunami, and the multifaceted psychedelia of Zokar, which according to the band "laments the tragic Boston Marathon bombers," until the record concludes with the mellow, otherworldly blues rocking heaviness of Sex Messiah, the whole package echoes exciting and confident, and also more weighty than what we usually get within the genre's limits during the last few years.

This entire pulsating sophomore release stands as a near encapsulation of Mountainwolf's alternative take on stoner rock, oozing with cosmic intrigue, but rock solid and concentrated, coming across as a potent record, quite different from the standard, more metal-oriented ones in the recent history of heavy rock, and as a record that is definitely qualified for more recognition.

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