You have to give it to Mountain Caller: they’re making the old feel new again. The London-based three-piece’s music is a mixture of prog, hard rock, and stoner doom — genres that immediately evoke a sense of antiquity, a call back to more denim-clad times. And yet on their new EP Chronicle: Prologue, the band inject a vitality and modernity into those styles, imbuing them with a freshness that so many other acts seem unready to embrace. The result is a record that is both emotionally relevant to the modern listener and stylistically appropriate for your hairiest van owner.
“Beyond This Black Horizon” is an excellent distillation of Mountain Caller’s approach. Sure, there’s some Black Sabbath to be found on this track, but there’s equal parts Tool, Mastodon, and Mutoid Man throughout, which take the song’s vibe from simple nod-along to full-on headbang. It’s impossible to listen to this track and not find something that you deeply enjoy.
“Our new EP ‘Chronicle: Prologue’ is a prequel story to the album,” says bassist El Reeve. “It’s about the very beginning of The Protagonist’s journey, and follows her from waking up under the ruins of a devastated city, to meeting the mysterious Mountain Caller with his equally mysterious motives, and traveling across an ocean to the desert shores where we first encounter her in the album, having survived a shipwreck.
“In ‘Beyond This Black Horizon’, The Protagonist has secured passage on an old ship,” continues El Reeve. “Its course will take her roughly in the direction that’s pressing down on her mind – she must travel onwards, no matter what. The seas become wild and violent, and the ship is battered mercilessly. And soon, through the screaming wind and rain, she can see why. The ship is grappled by colossal tentacles – a weird creature of scales, horns and bones. It’s torn to pieces and she’s plunged into the water, losing consciousness.”
Check out our exclusive premiere of Mountain Caller’s “Beyond This Black Horizon” below:
Mountain Caller’s Chronicle: Prologue comes out July 9th via Cargo Records, and is available for preorder.
Words by Chris Krovatin