Sunday, 23 November 2014

Twingiant - Devil Down (Album Review)

Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 2/12/2014
Label: Self Release/Medusa Crush Recordings

‘Devil Down’ DD/Tape track listing:

01. "Old Hag"
02. "Dead To Rights"
03. "Daisy Cutter"
04. "Through The Motions"
05. "Tiger Lily"
06. "Under A Blood Moon"
07. "Devil Down"


Twingiant is a Phoenix, Arizona based loud and heavy band that formed in the spring of 2010. Since its inception, the band has refined its sound from a conceptual stoner rock template to 70’s rock-based guitars meets modern sludge metal. The band consists of Jarrod Le Blanc (Vocals/Bass), Tony Gallegos (Guitars), Nikos Mixas (Guitars) and Jeff Ramon (Drums).
To date, they have released a full-length LP (Mass Driver) and a 4-song EP (Sin Nombre) and will release their 2nd full-length entitled Devil Down in December of 2014. Both Mass Driver and Sin Nombre received excellent reviews from numerous blogs and fans alike. Twingiant has played numerous shows locally and out of state both headlining and in support of larger acts to include but not limited to, Windhand, Pallbearer, Metal Church, Satan’s Satyrs and even Guttermouth. Twingiant recently played Southwest Terror Fest III which included such acts as Neurosis, Sunn0))), Goatsnake and -(16)-.  

Twingiant has plans to tour in the fall and record material for a split EP in 2015

Twingiant is:

Jarrod Le Blanc | Vocals, Bass
Tony Gallegos | Guitars
Nikos Mixas | Guitars
Jeff Ramon | Drums


Fall has hit and winter is on its tail. The naked trees reach high into the sky like the thick November mist, the smoke from the Devil’s cigarette, weaves its way through the bare branches of the trees. The skies are overcast and hanging so low you think you can touch them. The heaviness of the darkest days of the year begin to take their toll. The ground starts to rumble like a beating heart; thu-thump, thu-thump. As the rumbling gets louder a figure slowly appears out from the fog. This might have been what they were talking about on the news. Take cover, Twingiant has come to town.

Twingiant opens their new album, “Devil Down,” with a dark trudge of ominous foreboding. “Old Hag” is a slow, psychedelic groove that is drenched in watery reverb. As the song builds, the lava lamps are traded in for black candles and the tie-dye for black robes. All other things that celebrate peace and love get crushed to dust once Jarrod starts growling “baby, maybe I’m crazy, only time will tell” on the album’s second cut, “Dead to Rights.” The tone and theme have been set; there’s a heavy darkness abound and you’re being plagued by paranoia.

Up next is “Daisy Cutter,” the band’s lead off single that The Sludgelord streamed here a few weeks ago. This is where Twingiant takes a page out of Red Fang’s book and finds the perfect balance between heavy as fuck and catchy as hell. They do it again on “Tiger Lily,” but because this song is peppered with twin guitars, a wah guitar solo, and a growl summoned from the depths of hell, there’s more at play. There’s a tip of the hat to classic metal, a high five with the Palm Desert, and sharing a bong hit with Kalas. The album’s intensity is palpable but even the wicked need a moment to rest. Twingiant employ slide and acoustic guitars on the track “Under a Blood”, painting a picture of a sunset over the Arizona desert.

Though Twingiant's “Devil Down” is a heavy record, it is a varied platter. The instrumentals are like flickers of light that make an otherwise dark forest pitch black and impossible to see through. That’s exactly what’s happened here as “Under a Blood Moon” is followed by the album’s title track to close things down. The heaviness of “Devil Down’s” mid-tempo march carries like a casket on the shoulders of a pallbearer. Jarrod growls “black heart, red sky” over and over like a mantra before handing things over to an instrumental outro.

Twingiant’s new album “Devil Down” is a moody affair, pairing heavy darkness with light glimmers of hope. With their keen sense of melody and the smart use of calmer instrumentals, the heavy moments on the album get even heavier. Twingiant’s song writing is on par amongst their peers but the way they create and play with atmosphere sticks out.

They may be heavy for the sake of being heavy at times, but it is how they go about this that has drawn me to this album.

Words by: Victor van Ommen

You can pick up for DD Bandcamp for Dec 2 and a cassette release will follow via Medusa Crush Records on Feb 7 2015

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