Released via Southern Records' Latitudes imprint, Mount Eerie's Black Wooden EP ended up being a fruitful, fateful moment in Phil Elverum's career. Elverum recorded these songs at Southern Studios during a summer 2007 tour, and while they’re off the cuff, they marked a turning point for his music. “Black Wooden” itself launched Elverum's vision of a more organic-sounding black metal, and the song’s dour drones and wasteland imagery clearly paved the way for the Black Wooden Ceiling Opening EP and the album Wind’s Poem. “Marriage” (which became Lost Wisdom's “Oh My Heart”), meanwhile, gives this sound an electric kick. The rest of Black Wooden isn’t quite as visionary, but it shows how effortlessly Elverum combines nature, philosophy, thoughts on mortality, and the search for wisdom into deceptively simple songs. “Appetite” (which later appeared on Black Wooden Ceiling Opening) cleverly contrasts hunger and curiosity with satiety and ignorance, while “If We Knew” (which Julie Doiron sung on Lost Wisdom) comforts and cautions against fears of settling down and dying. Not every song is this heavy, however; Elverum opens “The Bottomless Pit” with “singing about the mountains and the cloud” -- something that could describe many a Mount Eerie song -- and finishes his wondering with the self-deprecating “meanwhile, it all yawns indifferently.” Despite this EP’s scarcity, it set the tone for Mount Eerie's music for years to come.
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AllMusic Review by Heather Phares