Based on the layered arena-rock peak of the title track of Gungor's I Am Mountain, which opens the album, you'd think this was a radio-friendly pop effort. And while there certainly are some vibrant pop melodies to be found, the overall aesthetic is far more cinematic in scope. The arrangements and instrumentation are intelligent and interesting throughout, particularly the pure percussive ear candy of tracks like "Beat of My Heart," which effectively conjures the spirit of Dead Can Dance, and the Peter Gabriel-esque "Let It Go." As compelling as the music is, the vocals are equally enjoyable, from the subtler passages of tunes like the opener, in which Michael Gungor sings with the measured delicacy of Sufjan Stevens, to the moments when Gungor and his wife, Lisa, twist in harmony. The latter convincingly conveys longing and emotion in songs like "Wandering" and "The Best Part" through a thickness of heavily effected vocals. This is one Mountain that's totally worth ascending.
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