I’m starting to have something of a special relationship with Will of the Mountain. I was happy to review the debut back in 2016, called “Cloud Walking”, and since then I’ve grown even fonder of the sound offered by this project. The new album is called “The Third Silence”, and it releases today, March 25th.
Will of the Mountain is primarily the brainchild of one person, Juan Pablo Calvo, hailing from Costa Rica. Juan writes everything, and also plays guitars and keys. The project is defined by its collaborations with other local musicians, so the sound here is purely Costa Rican. This particular album has five guest singers and multiple guest instrumentalists. The line up includes: Charlie Calvo on drums; Chalo Trejos on bass; Germán Gallardo, Fernando Coto, and Federico Miranda on guitars; Eduardo Oviedo on flute, and Jorge Guri on keys. The singers include: David Cubero, Elizabeth Naranjo, Bernal Villegas, Henry D’Arias, and Sebastián Acuña.
The musical style is progressive rock with a focus on melody and groove, but also with a heavier side. You will hear quite a bit of variety in tone from song to song, and part of that has to do with the multiple guest singers who are present here. The music may foam with drive and energy one moment, and then evoke space and distance in the next. Overall, the sound is bright, layered, and a bit mysterious, in addition to feeling emotional and purposeful. Also, as I said, there is a distinctive Costa Rican sound at play here that winds its way through every note.
“The Third Silence” has a textured, glowing feeling to it, like the bright sun warming the ocean as the creaking of old ships causally echoes over the waters as they sail the waves. There is something transcendent and enlightening in every second of it, and you can feel yourself being uplifted as soon as you enter the first song. The album is definitely a grower, too, as my feelings for it have increased since the first time I heard it.
All of this plays into the lyrical concept. Juan here is writing about the human experience and the legacy that we will leave when we die. It covers subjects like loneliness, despair, hope, and unity; but views the end of life as the beginning of peace, in some measure. The human condition is a beautiful, tangled mess sometimes, loaded with pain and suffering for sure, but beautiful nonetheless.
Every single song here is strong and confident. Many of the tracks have truly infectious choruses that make them memorable stand outs. “Unity” and “New Days in Heaven” fall into this category. The former gets a bit heavier in the guitar department and offers a strong chorus and an addictive central lick, while the latter is a bright and lively track with an a huge chorus.
Other songs are more in depth, and get better with age. “Lunar” is the single, and it is beautiful. It transitions from balladic atmospheres to driving guitars in a flash. I love the spacey subtlety in the tender moments. “Three Rivers” is a fantastic instrumental track with loads of character, musical space, and addictive groove. The album ends appropriately with “Silence”, an abstract ballad of peace and shadowy proximity.
My favorite song, however, is the three part “The Old Sailor’s Company”, split into two tracks. “Part 1: Radiant” starts the album off strongly with a powerful bass groove and frothing guitars. The power and energy give the album a kickstart that really gets your blood flowing. “Parts 2-3: Tempest, Home” is the pinnacle of the album, in my view. It has an intensely beautiful keyboard melody that almost feels 80’s New Wave to me. The song is robust, synthy, and awesome.
Will of the Mountain continues to grow and mature. Just from the debut to this album, you can sense the evolution inherent in the melodies, song structures, and pacing. “The Third Silence” is a profound, gracious album that truly brings light and joy to your mind.
Find Will of the Mountain: