Best Album to Listen to With Headphones: Ocean’s Roar

If the Pacific Northwest manifested itself as a human being, it would likely assume the form of Phil Elverum. Under his Mount Eerie moniker, Elverum has the uncanny ability to channel the landscape, often singing from the perspective of the wind, the grass, and the mountains. On Ocean’s Roar, he assumes the persona of the violent seas, and damn, is it heavy. Put in your earbuds, crank up the volume, and suddenly you find yourself in the middle of a gray thunderstorm, being tossed to and fro by the powers of Mother Earth. Infusing the dirge-driven structures of black metal with his lo-fi, analog atmospherics, Elverum manages to shroud the Northwest in layers of ancient myth and legend. Ocean’s Roar slaps together the best of both sides of Mount Eerie: Showcasing his attention to textural detail, you will notice something new happening in the background each time you listen. At the same time, Elverum’s willingness to experiment with crushing guitar sounds and stark dynamic shifts will create obvious moments of ecstasy that are impossible to miss.

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