Mount Eerie - Wind's Poem (Cover Artwork)

Mount Eerie

Wind's Poem (2009)


Wind's Poem, the latest LP from Anacortes, Wash.-based Mount Eerie, is a massive collection of songs to digest, both musically and thematically. It's almost as if the first note of the album acts as a filter; listeners who don't have the patience to make it through the first track probably won't make it through the entire record. That's not to say that all of the tracks are inaccessible. If the world were a just place, songs like "The Hidden Stone" and "Between Two Mysteries" (featuring a sample from the theme to the cult-favorite television series, Twin Peaks) would propel Phil Elverum, the 32-year-old multi-instrumentalist and sole permanent member of Mount Eerie, to popularity far beyond what it is today.

From start to finish, this is the most musically varied but still cohesive Mount Eerie release to date. Starting with the loud crashing of "Wind's Dark Poem," followed by the quiet beauty of the 11-minute track "Through the Trees," these first two songs give a good sample of the journey ahead for the listener. The album's mood swings continue, interjecting blistering black metal throughout minimalistic atmospheric ballads.

Lyrically, much of the album explores the idea of wind as an invisible river, speaking a mysterious language while slowly eroding the world around. In the standout track "Summons," Elverum sings, "Hold on to something and watch it go / Everything you love will end up on the breeze / The roots that held the tree down left a deep hole / full of water, reflecting sky." As with most of Elverum's work, his references to nature amidst the moody instrumentation paint the perfect picture of a foggy, dark forest in the northwest, haunted by unknown forces.

For those not already familiar with Elverum's past work, "The Glow Pt. 2" from his previous moniker the Microphones might be the best place to start, due to its accessibility and pop hooks. For Elverum fans who haven't heard this already, this sounds more like a finer-tuned "Black Wooden Ceiling Opening" than the more recent "Lost Wisdom." It's exciting to imagine what he's going to explore next.