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[At the time of publishing Hydra Head have just announced that after nearly 20 years they are to shut up shop.
If you don’t know what a fucking tragedy that is, then buy this record.
Ornithological haikus; Tuvan throat singing; the poetry of Ted Hughes; snake and crow creation myths; the 1971 ‘acid western’ Zachariah; legendary jazz drummer Elvin Jones; standard issue prison literature We Are All Doing Time by controversial ‘interfaith humanitarian’ Bo Lozoff; it’s all there.
And yet you could strip away all of it, because if Eagle Twin are about nothing else they’re about groove.
I bet you didn’t fish your chair out of a skip and get your mismatched crockery for £6 in a charity shop, did you! You didn’t hear me because you were too busy Instagraming a picture of your cat with a slice of bread around its fucking head? (Yeah, cat-breading; I’ve heard of it.) Not that I mean, by all of that, that Verdonkermaan is black metal for Holden Caulfield or something, more that the Dutch group’s third LP is, at times, utterly nauseating, in a very meaningful and deeply unsettling way. Progressive and skillful in their manipulation of noise the five relentless, shrill and lo-fi, static dirges have at their heart an abject bleakness and a rare sense of almost palpable danger. Two members, two tracks, 33 minutes and snappily daubed ‘subsonic psychedelic doom’, Life is arguably a little bit of almost everything that’s come before it in this column; eerie, manipulated static and found noises; abrasive, thunderous riffs; free improv and rather abstract concepts – equal parts the Melvins, Sunn O))) and Whitehouse. Katatonia Dead End Kings (Peaceville) It comes to something when you’re going to a Katatonia album for a degree of respite, yet that’s not to say that the Swedes ninth LP is any less heavy than anything we’ve had so far.