The Feather Tipped The Serpent's Scale
posted on 8/2012 By:
Something I find very appealing about Utah's Eagle Twin is the fact that there's not another band currently kicking around that sounds quite like them. I've seen them lumped alongside a handful of other droning sludgers, which I suppose is fair, but this duo truly does bend the typical formula from a completely different angle. If you were to lay out the ostensibly peculiar drone-to-sludge spectrum with a band like OM on one end, and, say, Iron Monkey on its polar boundary, Eagle Twin would land at about three-and-a-half clicks south-by-south-west from the old barn that's approximately a quarter-mile as the crow flies from the halfway point and just before the entrance to Camp Whatthefukatooey. Right around there, you'll see a tee-pee and two guys who appear to be tripping balls and listening to nothing but Tuvan throat singing, Mahavishnu Orchestra and late-80s Melvins records. You have arrived at your destination.
That might not be as clear as I'd hoped. The short story is this: Eagle Twin is a pretty weird band. And album number two, The Feather Tipped the Serpent's Scale, further anchors that evidence. Much like 2009's The Unkindness of Crows, this year's affair plucks equal share from meditative, low-end hum as it does clamoring madness through a wealth of crashing drums and an almost 'improvisational jam' method of endless riffs and bursts of eye-cracking leads. Stitch it all together with a blanketing 'mythos of the serpent' motif as delivered by a guttural shaman (Black Elk Croaks?) and you've essentially got album number two from these Utahn druids of drudge.
As was also the case with the debut, the songs here are mostly long. Opener "Ballad of Job Cain" is split into two 9+ minute cuts, but the slugging, molasses-heaviness of Part 1 bleeds seamlessly into the similarly minded Part 2, which also happens to feature one of the album's tastiest (and heaviest) riffs by the time it strikes its exact center-point. The quieter moments--the onset of "Lorca (Adan)" and the melded "HornSnakeHorns"/"It Came to Pass the Snakes Became Mighty Antlers"--have a dusty 'n' dark modern Earth flavor, but things never really stay quiet very long, as Gentry and Tyler always seem equally primed to slyly pull the listener into one of their whirling shitstorms.
Perhaps the most impressive thing about Eagle Twin remains the fact that they manage all this drudging turmoil with nothing other than one guitarist/vocalist, and one drummer. As a self-professed bass-addict, it almost shames me to admit that adding a heavy-hitting four-stringer such as Joe Preston into the fold would likely be too much. As it stands, the formula is already alluringly unique, and the sheer amount of sound the band administers is something that commands the use of a nice big sound system, so don't even bother with those wimpy computer speakers.
If you've got an adventurous ear and find yourself missing the more raucous days of OM (or even a band like Blood of the Black Owl, for that matter), then The Feather Tipped the Serpent's Scale is something you should certainly investigate. And if the three week wait until its release seems too long to bare, just dip back into The Unkindness of Crows to get yourself duly prepared.
Loud, proud and thoroughly ploughed.
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