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All Eternals Deck

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iTunes Review

The string section driving “Age of Kings” realizes the great noir that has always lurked in the best work of John Darnielle and whatever compatriots currently make up the Mountain Goats. Here’s he’s sticking with Jon Wurster on drums and Peter Hughes on bass. His sizable and solid catalog makes it hard to single out any one album as the definitive one. It all plays together as one grand song, with concepts coming and going in the interim. 2011’s All Eternals Deck adds strings and a new tightness in the arrangements. Even Darnielle’s guitar sounds deliberately measured, locking in with the rhythm section. As per usual, the songs are filled with juicy details, punch lines and sly references to previous work. All of which makes each album a deep listen for hardcore fans. However, the basic joyful accessibility of “Beautiful Gas Mask” is one for the ages and no previous experience is required. “High Hawk Season” adds a male back-up choir. “Prowl Great Cain” throws a pretty piano against Darnielle’s adenoidal delivery. Can anyone resist a song called “For Charles Bronson”?

Customer Reviews

Long live the Mountain Goats!!!!

John never ceases to amaze and entrance me. Thank you, John, for existing and making music too beautiful for words.

This might be my second favorite Mountain Goats album, falling just behind The Sunset Tree :D

Thank you John

I have been waiting for this album for a long time now and I tried to get it at midnight right when it released but i didn't i only got it 45 minutes after though. But this album is amazing it completely surpases my expectations. I love every song in these album I think i might like "Never Quite Free" the best but I've only listened to all the songs once so far. But i love it all these songs are amazingly written and have great music and lyrics. I just want to thank you John for being so awesome and blowing my mind with your amazing lyrics over and over again i love to hear you sing. I think your the best artist there is. So thank you John Darnielle your'e the best and i hope that you can come out to Indiana soon your show at bloomington in June is sold out this year and it has been for awhile but i hope you can play here again in the next couple of years hopefully and who knows maybe i would see both you and John green there. DFTBA!

Compared to previous albums...

...this one seemed to lack passion. "Listless" was the first word that came to mind when I considered writing a review. This is not to say that this album is by any means bad. The characterization of "listless" is one limited to a comparison of other albums by this wonderful band. In other words, compare this music to the mountains of garbage being produced and sold by other "artists," and these Mountain Goats remain unquestionably at the top of the heap; far and away superior in that broad sense. I just prefer this band's earlier work, particularly the Sunset Tree.


Formed: 1991 in Claremont, CA

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

The Mountain Goats are, for all practical purposes, the endlessly clever and prolific John Darnielle and whatever musicians he surrounds himself with, which means that while the soundscape may change from project to project, the overall tone and feel of Darnielle's work remains remarkably consistent. At his best, he writes finely observed, slightly surreal, impressionistic vignettes that manage to mix life as we live it with life as we wish we could live it, and as such he has more in common with...
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