One of my favorite things about writing for the blog is how much access it gives me to music I would never otherwise have heard. This is especially true in a geographical sense; our scenes and music journalism are heavily titled towards the Western world. While that sort of perspective is not without merit, it still misses huge swaths of amazing music. Consider Andorra’s Persefone or Japan’s Fear, and Loathing in Las Vegas. Another location which might not be immediately associated with metal is Costa Rica. Apparently, however, it is host to an amazing musical scene which has now intersected with metal in a pleasingly excellent way. This intersection has culminated in Cloud Walking by a project named Will Of The Mountain.

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Essentially a solo project helmed by a man called Juan Pablo Calvo, Will Of The Mountain plays host to several Costa Rican vocalists under the mantle of excellent progressive metal spiced with post-rock influences. Most of the album enjoys large guitar and bass tones, provided by several local musicians. But the vocals are where things get interesting. Apparently, the background of the vocalists utilized on the album is varied and thus makes up a kind of palette of Costa Rican music. For example,  Danniel Bissinger is from Foffo Goddy, a folk rock band while  Adriana Muñoz
sings backing vocals for progressive death metal locals, Adrenal. This results in an richly varied album, containing progressive rock epics (like “Haze of Dawn” which contains the sweetest and largest vocal harmonies on the album) alongside softer tracks (like the heart wrenching “Starlight”, a bright-eyed track that reminds one heavily of Rishloo).

Wherever the vocals go, they are always met by an extremely cohesive, instrumental tapestry. This is perhaps the most impressive quality of Cloud Walking: somehow, amidst all of these variations, Juan Pablo Calvo has managed to create an album which works as one creation. This was obviously the largest challenge here. The vocalists and instrumentalists are talented, but can the compositions make the effort seem like an album? Happily, and astonishingly, we can answer with a resounding “yes”. Cloud Walking is an exciting and refreshing creation, recommended for fans of everything that even smells slightly like progressive metal. Calvo is to be lauded for his accomplishment and, hopefully, he will garner the recognition deserving of the effort.

Head on over to Will Of The Mountain’s Bandcamp and help out anyway you can.

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