When I’m not playing music or working, I like to get out and do stuff in the woods…nothing crazy, I just like being outside on a nice day away from the things that normally surround me. This usually manifests itself through day hikes, lake trips, river walks, hanging out on scenic overlooks or anything similar. It typically acts as an escape from “the grind” and allows me to indulge in something that’s not music. I basically separate the two. I have woods-shit on one side and music on the other, I love both, but rarely do they cross paths physically (though it has happened. Rawest venue ring a bell?). Kevin Carafa effectively took aspects of both realms and forced them to play chicken. In this game, neither side “won.” They collided, resulting in his masterpiece, appropriately titled “The Mountain.” With this collection of 5 songs Kevin leads us on a journey beginning at the base of a mountain where he redefines “earth-tones” as we peer up at the challenge that awaits. We’re soon met with adversity as a musical storm erupts, but we forge on and begin the ascent, regardless. The atmosphere he creates with multiple bass tracks and tasteful drumming build into the “ascent” with vocals sharing tones and style from Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails. At this point, the “no turning back” cliche reigns true and gets us to the peak where we have time to relax and reflect. At the top, Kevin provided the perfect soundscape for us, returning to the bass and drums that set the tone at the beginning of our trek. An obvious Om, influence can be heard in the carefully constructed rhythms and droning bass. When it’s time for “The Descent” we feel accomplished, but we know we have to climb down just as we climbed up. We’re reminded of the difficult path home that Kevin illustrates through more tense bass ‘n drums paired with a vocal melody similar to something that can be found on Tool‘s “Lateralus.” So we begin…Kevin guides us down the mountain to another crescendo filled with distorted bass and pounding drums. Now, Kevin does not exactly suggest that we survive this long/strenuous journey. “The Mountain” ends on a cliffhanger with the lyric “…and if we die, remember that time was with us.” With “Himalaya: The Mountain” Kevin Carafa overcame the challenge of writing a cohesive concept album that makes perfect sense, and leaves you guessing/wanting more without coming off as cheesy, pretentious or ill-executed. Listen/download below! He has it set with “The Ascent” as the featured track, but I suggest listening to it from start to finish.