The Feather Tipped The Serpent’s Scale
Southern Lord might well be primarily focused on a catalogue of dark, crusty punk & hardcore these days, having pushed its recent revival to its very limits, such has been their output. It’s relieving to know that head honcho Greg Anderson hasn’t completely forgotten the slow, crushing doom, sludge and drone on which the label made their name, backed up by the return of the two-piece Eagle Twin. Their second album, ‘The Feather Tipped The Serpent’s Scale’ is a rich concept album this time exploring the role of the Serpent through religious history, picking up from the end of their debut album ‘The Unkindness of Crows’, with the titular crows burned down to earth, transitioning into snakes in the process.
The album is divided into seven tracks though it could well be one single track partitioned into seven. The opening jam ‘Ballad of Job Cain’, referencing Elvin Jones’ character from ‘the first electric western’ Zachariah’, stretches past eighteen minutes, split pretty much down the middle into part I and II respectively, all crushing heavy groove occasionally broken up with a brief drum solo or a minimalist crawl with Gentry Densley’s low, booming drones telling the story of the aforementioned transition into snakes. The serpent is indeed a pervading influence through the record, as ‘Adan (Lorca)’ further explores the claim from some Jewish traditions that Cain was in fact fathered by the Serpent, slowly thundering along through Gentry’s chants and the band’s collective slow drudge. It leads nicely into the eleven-minute-plus ‘Snake Hymn’, which merges all aspects of the band’s influences of doom, drone and sludge rock that builds to a supreme finale.
Eagle Twin – Ballad of Job Cain II
The remaining tracks are shorter in length but no less a part of the process, each track seeming segueing into the next, each with its own air of foreboding and menace. Each step of the way, it remains thoroughly compelling, right through to the conclusion of ‘Epilogue: Crow’s Theology’, as masterful a doom jam as you will see all year.
The weighty concept might seem a lot to digest, but Eagle Twin craft it masterfully into a heavy brew of religious text, occult imagery and crushing heavy rock. Too often have we seen bands come up with a concept only to fail to convey it properly into its lyrics, or lose it completely in a swirl of over ambitious pomp and riffery. Eagle Twin understand exactly how to convey their vision, and how to retain it in the face of delivering sledgehammers riffs and grooves that would strangulate even the mightiest anaconda. The power displayed by this two piece remains incredible to hear, even if not surprising any more. All this is proof that Eagle Twin are the real deal, which makes their next foray into historical and mythical lore ever more enterprising.