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Doom is here; doom is real.

Sometimes, though, doom metal benefits from a touch of the postmodern. The rockier side of the subgenre often lands feet-first on concrete, generating classic riffs, familiar structures, and plenty of raw dirge -- there's a softer, more abstract shade of doom metal, though, one in which California-based sextet Mountaineer stands strong. It's a place of diffusion, atmosphere, and headiness that doom metal seems absolutely built for, even if doom metal doesn't need to be that way all the time. The point is this: if you want to really soar on wavelengths in the night sky, you need albums like Mountaineer's upcoming Bloodletting. It's just the right blend of post-metal and doom, a space where both can exist in symphony and, sometimes, opposition.

These two subgenres hold a ton in common already, but what Mountaineer discovers is that the merger doesn't have to destroy either half. "Shot Through With Starlight," for example, is about as postmodern as things come, drowning itself in saturated noise and aching screams and feeling like it's floating away in front of you, but with a powerful background plod that's unmistakably doom. It's almost as if the post-metal carries your mind away but the doom keeps your brain planted in some sense of reality… or, here, surreality. The reaches of Bloodletting are impressive -- true, you have to "give" yourself to this achingly emotional music for it to work -- and Mountaineer has quickly become one of my favorite heartstring-tug bands.

We're streaming the entire album now before Friday's release. Enjoy.

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Bloodletting releases Friday via Lifeforce Records.

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