Newcastle, UK’s post/instrumental metal quartet, Kylver, released an incredible album back in May called, The Mountain Ghost. Unfortunately, I am just learning of this album today.
This sweeping concept album follows a story of a mountain range inhabited by a spirit that comes down the mountains and into the valley to terrorize the villagers each winter. Finally, during one winter, the villagers grew tired of the spirit and lured it to a feast where they poisoned the spirit.
The Mountain Ghost excels at providing a sonic backdrop for the listener to paint their own vivid scene across. The album is enriched with thick, Mastodonian riffs and spacey organs that can cause one to become enveloped in the avalanche of imagery and atmosphere. Opening track, “The Mountain has Ghosts” evokes a notion of the spirit descending the monstrous mountains, eagerly anticipating its night amongst the troubled villagers; as the song perpetually builds upon itself, culminating in a beautifully arranged rhythm section that sets up the second track and the spirit’s feast.
“The Feast of the Mountain Ghost” brings the tempo down as the villagers and the spirit dine together in a dramatically ironic last meal for the honored guest. “The Dance of the Mountain Ghost” follows in a similar accordance with the previous song, as it begins to build for an ominous conclusion and end to the spirit of the mountain. In the closing track, “The Death of the Mountain Ghost”, the spirit has discovered his fate. The song opens with distorted, dark noise; a representation of the spirit’s knowledge of its imminent end. It then morphs into ISIS-esque patterns as the spirit spirals out and the villagers praise the end of their tortured winters.
Had I known about this when it was released, it definitely would have featured in my ‘Best of May’ article. Kylver are worthy of much more notoriety and praise for their brilliant post metal work, as it stands to go toe-to-toe with other notable releases this year. Check out the album below and go support their incredible work.