Release Date: May 6, 2014
Record label: Roadrunner Records
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Heavy Metal, Hard Rock, Post-Grunge, Southern Rock
When Florida Georgia Line covered Black Stone Cherry's "Stay," the single went straight to the top of the country music charts and provided some exposure for the Kentucky hard rockers outside heavy metal circles. The band's first two records -- 2006's self-titled album and 2008's Folklore and Superstition -- both possessed killer riffs and raw intensity but lacked songwriting finesse, while 2011's Between the Devil & the Deep Blue Sea went too far in the other direction. Magic Mountain assembles BSC's strengths cohesively with only a few missteps.
Kentucky hellraisers Black Stone Cherry soar a mile high with this fourth full-length. Raucous and honest, this album rocks with their trademark down-home stoner swagger. Unapologetically heavy swamp anthems “Bad Luck & Hard Love” and “Fiesta del Fuego” sound destined for radio play, while vocalist and lead guitarist Chris Robertson shines on the stripped-down “Sometimes” and the smooth “Peace Pipe.” The band even salvages the clichéd country ballad “Hollywood in Kentucky” with a hell of a closing hoedown.
"BSC are at their best with a sledgehammer riff and ‘Magic Mountain’ is full of them." Before it got clever, rock music was just big, and the heydey of heavy metal / blues crossovers has certainly always inspired Black Stone Cherry. The Kentucky quartet continue to bring a Southern swing to the table, but ‘Magic Mountain’ is as heavy as they’ve ever been – it’s almost like they know Corrosion Of Conformity have returned to their Mike Dean-fronted hardcore roots and have seen a gaping hole in the market. ‘Hollywood In Kentucky’ is the only foray into country, and that’s welcome – BSC are at their best with a sledgehammer riff and ‘Magic Mountain’ is full of them.