You would think that by now, When Mountains Speak would have mined out the rich psychedelic seam that is their musical preference, that it would have given up all of the sonic gems it had been hiding. This might be the case if the band had a more specific vision of psychedelia. The art of doing what they do, in the broadest of terms at least, is that their take on the genre is all-encompassing, expansive and unrestrictive. One large enough to take in free-form proggy experimentation, ambient sonic haze, oriental beats and jazzy grooves, cinematic flows and no small amount of sonic avant-gardening. Once you define your parameters this wide, you have the best of both worlds – you can plough a broadly psychedelic furrow knowing that the field, while it might twist and turn, never really ends.

Silky Trident is the perfect example of the band doing precisely this. Like much of their material, this is the result of a live recording, and I suspect there is no small amount of jam vibes and improvisational flow at work, the sound of the three musicians bouncing off each other, inspired by and infused with their fellow player to create a unique finished article.

Drum patterns skitter and punctuate, sometimes using a beat to drive things on, occasionally happy just to add percussive motifs to the piece. The bass lines are melodic and exploratory simultaneously, an essential approach to tether the song, giving Steven Clarkson the freedom to drive the guitar lines to some strange and distant sonic shores.

It’s a long song; it has to be to develop the ideas found here. When a guitar line drifts off into the ether, a bass line spirals down into almost mathematic-inspired loops, or the drums seek to explore different time signatures (or even their absence), the band allow themselves enough time to commit totally. Such wayward noodling, beat experimentation, and avant-grooviness needs plenty of time to get into its stride; the three-minute pop song format just isn’t going to cut it.

As always, the song feels like we are in familiar territory, but once you get on board, you realise that there is only the most general sense of having passed this way before; the reality is that you are a long way from home, that comfort zones, even those you have built within the When Mountains Speak sound, have been left far behind.

Familiar yet totally fresh, recognisable but only in the broadest sense, classic When Mountains Speak territory yet still pushing at the furthest boundaries of their own broad sonic spectrum. Nice!

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