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Eagle Twin - The Feather Tipped the Serpent's Scale (CD) Cover Art Eagle Twin - The Feather Tipped the Serpent's Scale (CD)

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.

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.

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Price: $13.99
Eagle Twin - The Unkindness of Crows (CD) Cover Art Eagle Twin - The Unkindness of Crows (CD)

Gentry Densely, the brains behind Iceburn and half of Ascend, has dove into a dark pit of abstract sludge called Eagle Twin. The band’s debut, The Unkindness of Crows, brings to mind The Melvins, Aldebaran, and slowed-down Black Cobra tunes.

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Price: $13.99
Eagles of Death Metal - Peace Love Death Metal (CD) Cover Art Eagles of Death Metal - Peace Love Death Metal (CD)

Eagles of Death Metal features Queens of the Stone Age frontman Josh Homme, Tim Vanhamel (Millionaire) and Jesse "The Devil" Hughes.

Speaking with a voice of shocking conviction and igniting a sensation of panicked sexual fervor that, some are saying, hasn't been seen since Little Richard announced rock n' roll is over 55 years ago comes Peace Love Death Metal. Featuring the slide guitar boogie and falsetto choruses of the thin, weird, eccentric rock newcomer Jesse "The Devil" Hughes, the dueling guitar excitement of Tim Vanhamel, the sex-rock dance-boogie beats of the wildly mysterious Baby Duck (Josh Homme), and the honky-tonk piano genius of Alain Johannes.

Calling upon the spirit of Bon Scott and following in the guitar traditions of his native South Carolinian hero, Phelps "Catfish" Collins (brother of Bootsy) J Devil began a streak of song writing that birthed the sex rock time bomb Peace Love Death Metal. With the authority and the rock and roll American ferocity of the Ramones, the undeniable and infectious dance boogie of Marvin Gay sung with a voice that is somewhere between Canned Heat and Prince, Peace Love Death Metal is the first complete release of a band that is said to be the greatest of all rock by everyone who has heard them.

Price: $17.99
Eagles of Death Metal - Zipper Down (CD) Cover Art Eagles of Death Metal - Zipper Down (CD)

The fourth studio album from the American rock band Eagles Of Death Metal. Hailing from Palm Desert, California, the band was formed in 1998 by Jesse Hughes and Josh Homme.

Price: $18.99
Earth (Pre-Black Sabbath)/Flying Hat Band - Coming of the Heavy Lords (Split CD) (IMPORT) (CD) Cover Art Earth (Pre-Black Sabbath)/Flying Hat Band - Coming of the Heavy Lords (Split CD) (IMPORT) (CD)

Originally formed as a heavy blues rock band named Earth, the band began incorporating occult- and horror-inspired lyrics with tuned-down guitars, changing their name to Black Sabbath and achieving multiple platinum records in the 1970s. The Earth demo sessions are comprised of three heavy bluesy numbers and one cover of 'Blue Suede Shoes'.

The Flying Hat Band were an early 1970s Birmingham, England hard rock act that, alongside Judas Priest, ranked as the Midlands' favorites to succeed. Despite not having released an album, the band proved a successful club act and eventually went on to support Deep Purple on one of their European tours. The band folded in April 1974 following Glenn Tipton's departure to become the second guitarist in Judas Priest, who at the time had just signed their first record deal with Gull Records. Peter "Mars" Cowling joined Canadian rocker Pat Travers in 1975, and was part of Travers' band for several years. Trevor Foster joined folk rock group The Albion Band and Little Johnny England.

Price: $25.99
Earth - A Bureaucratic Desire for Extra-Capsular Extraction (CD) Cover Art Earth - A Bureaucratic Desire for Extra-Capsular Extraction (CD)

Liner notes by Dylan Carson. Artwork by Simon Fowler.

For the first time ever the debut recordings of Earth are available in one concise, beautifully documented capsule. "A Beaurucratic Desire for Extra Capsular Extractions" contains the entire 1990 Smegma Studios sessions which are the debut recordings from Earth. Previously available scattered via the "Extra Capsular Extractions" EP and "Sunn Amps and Smashed Guitar" CD, this essential collection contains every note from the infamous first Earth recording sessions. Earth was founded by Dylan Carlson circa 1989 and in this infancy stages contained several different members including: Slim Moon (Kill Rock Stars label), Joe Preston (Thrones, Melvins, Sunn0))), HIgh on Fire) and even Dylan's close friend Kurt Kobain.

Price: $14.99
Earth - Angels of Darkness, Demons of Light II (CD) Cover Art Earth - Angels of Darkness, Demons of Light II (CD)

With Angels of Darkness, Demons of Light II, Earth continue to expand on the ideas they presented in the first half, while also revealing more of the ever-changing band’s personality in this incarnation. Sonic congruencies abound – as one would expect, considering the two parts were recorded in the same sessions with Stuart Hallerman (who also helmed Earth 2) – but Angels of Darkness, Demons of Light II does more than just continue the strain of its predecessor.

The album feels less like a sequel capitalizing on the ideas of the first installment than it does a completion of a whole single unit, or perhaps a collection of complementing remnants that strengthens the first by revealing more of the process that went into making it. However you choose to read it, Earth’s drive toward improvisation is important for what it might mean in terms of the band’s future work, and as Angels of Darkness, Demons of Light II remains in line with the preceding record, an overarching musical thematic does feel present, even if the album’s triumph might be more in the procedure or construction than in the expansion of the sonics themselves. In that way, the expectation of something different that Earth seem to set for themselves with each ensuing album holds them back here – since it’s largely the same approach – but it also makes having the two full-lengths as part of the same single unit that much more apt.

In any case, as Earth has already lost Blau on bass, one hopes Carlson and Davies – the central duo – can keep Goldston contributing in the lineup at least for a while, because if nothing else, the sheer glut of material that occurs across the two Angels of Darkness, Demons of Light records speaks to the creative spark at work in the band at this point. With the increase in chemistry that road time brings and the experience at studio-based improvisation they’ve gained recording these songs, Earth could easily be marking the beginning of a new era.

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Price: $13.99
Earth - Earth 2 (CD) Cover Art Earth - Earth 2 (CD)

Imagine how you would feel if the gravity of the earth would be ten times stronger than it is now. Your feet feel as if they are stuck in ten ton concrete. Your hands constantly seem to reach towards the ground. Your shoulders feel so heavy that you feel like laughing at Jesus' painful facial expression while he is carrying something ridiculous like a cross. Even if you make the biggest effort, you can't even take a step forward. Well, if it is possible for you to imagine something like that, then you might have an idea about the sound of Earth.

Improbably slow and heavy guitar riffs and a bass vibe that sounds like an earthquake are exclusively used drenching the listener into an agonising experience, surrounding him with apocalyptic feedback sounds with a particular Sabbathian touch. How can one describe this? It's not possible to speak about music, since Earth makes Winter sound like a speed metal band. Instead it is an experience of never suspected gravity forces holding you captive in their almighty power. Painfully minimalistic, threatening and dark sounds hold you in their grip until you confess that nobody can beat the sound of the planet itself when it comes to heaviness and primitive power. On this album you will find not a single voice, no drums, no keyboards, no special effects: only the pure, primitive forces of the earth making the heaviness worshipper like me bow in awe and greet the mighty planet....

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Price: $12.99
Earth - Hibernaculum (2CD) Cover Art Earth - Hibernaculum (2CD)

The CD consists of three old Earth classics redone in a different, stark and clean tone (akin to the Hex material) plus the track “A Plague of Angels” which was previously available on a rare tour only split 12" with Sunn0)))). The lineup assembled by Dylan for this album compliments the aesthetic and direction perfectly. Adrienne Davies who brought a patient, consistent and complimentary rhythm and percussion to the Hex album is again behind the drum kit. Don Mcgreevy and Jonas Haskins provide bass support. Steve Moore assists on keyboards and horns. Greg Anderson (Sunn0)))) adds subsonics via analog synth on “Ouroboros is Broken” and “Coda Maestoso in F (Flat) Minor. As with the Hex album the present Earth is focused and precise yet the heavy darkness remains unbroken.

The DVD is an Earth documentary filmed by Seldon Hunt. The documentary features many interviews with Dylan Carlson and live footage from the groups 2006 European tour. It is the first time ever that footage of Dylan Carlson and Earth have been released since the resurrection of the group. Detailed insight into the process of the band as well as candid, intimate conversations were captured on the fim.

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Price: $16.99
Earth - Pentastar (In the Style of Demons) (CD) Cover Art Earth - Pentastar (In the Style of Demons) (CD)

This album is just a natural extension of the previous three studio albums, while being more experimental in terms of songwriting. The wonderful thing about Earth is the subtlety of their music, and how Dylan Carlson seamlessly blends 70s metal riffs, southern rock, and eastern influences into masterful songs. This is a good first album to buy if you're just getting into Earth and/or the drone scene. It's easier to digest than most if you're just getting your feet wet.

On Pentastar, Earth tries to find the middle ground between the space rock of Hawkwind and the noisy guitar work of the Melvins.

Price: $14.99