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Album Reviews : Eagle Twin – The Feather Tipped The Serpent’s Scales

By on September 24, 2012

Eagle Twin - The Feather Tipped the Serpent's ScaleEagle Twin‘s debut album, The Unkindness of Crows, has enjoyed near constant rotation on my stereo since it’s release in 2009. It is, in my humble opinion, one of the best pieces of heavy music in the last decade.

Three years later comes their follow up, The Feather Tipped The Serpent’s Scale. Can it possibly rise above the high-water mark set by their debut?

Stylistically, the duo bring a new approach to sludge metal; one that is cerebral, progressive, and tinged influence from blues, jazz, doom and drone. But what is perhaps Eagle Twin‘s defining element is their sonic signature. Gentry Densley’s unique guitar-and-amp set-up combined with Tyler Smith’s resonant, spacious drum sound creates an aesthetic that is as monolithic as it is organic.

And perhaps that hits upon a key aspect that separates Eagle Twin from so many playing in the style. As dark and evil as their sound can be, their essence is still profoundly human.

In this way, Eagle Twin are similar to Neurosis and Yob. In their better moments, these groups sound as though they’ve tapped a direct channel to the soul; their lyrics at times resembling visionary poetry.

Densley’s weathered, wise baritone might also remind some of Scott Kelly’s gruff vocal delivery – but he manages surpass such a comparison by mixing Tibetan throat singing alongside bluesy rasps, throaty bellows and raw spoken word passages.

On the whole, the progression from The Unkindness of Crows to The Feather Tipped The Serpent’s Scale is one of consolidation. The production is as excellent as the first, but also manges to introduce a few nuanced improvements. Same goes for the album’s compositions; they feel tighter, and a little more consistent this time around.

I’m still a little unsure if anything is going to unseat my total obsession with The Unkindness of Crows (“Crow Hymn” is just too mind-blowing), but there is no doubt Eagle Twin have delivered excellence once more.

The Feather Tipped The Serpent’s Scales is an outstanding piece of doom / sludge, and one that is going to be hard to top in 2012. Perhaps only Neurosis can hope to make that challenge.


Band: Eagle Twin
Album: The Feather Tipped The Serpent’s Scale
Year: 2012
Genre: Sludge / doom
Label: Southern Lord Records
Origin: Salt Lake City, Utah, USA

Track list:
1. Ballad of Job Cain Part I
2. Ballad of Job Cain Part II
3. Lorca (Adan)
4. Snake Hymn
5. HornSnakeHorns
6. It Came to Pass the Snakes Became Mighty Antlers
7. Epilogue, Crow’s Theology


In his spare time, Lachlan melts cephalopods and sorts raw numbers. He runs Art As Catharsis, plays guitar in Serious Beak, Adrift for Days and Battle Pope and writes philosophy at Writing As Catharsis. Follow him on tumblr or Twitter.