Thursday 12 October 2017

ALBUM STREAM & REVIEW: Twingiant - "Blood Feud"

By: Ernesto Aguilar

Album Type: Full length
Date Released: 13/10/2017
Label: Argonauta Records

"Twingiant seems like it is out to represent an immortal hard rock sound that will always be loved. It's a great sound, and one that has floated Twingiant from underground favorite to emerging powerhouse."

“Blood Feud” CD//DD Track listing

1). Throttled
2). Poison Control Party Line
3). Ride The Gun
4). Re-fossilized
5). Shadow of Southern Mountain
6). Formerly Known As
7). Last Man Standing
8). Kaishakunin

The Review:

These moments, every band is a something-something-something. Is this a marketing thing, or entirely accurate? There's blackgaze-sludge, symphonic-death-doom, hardcore-atmospheric-drone, something-but-wait-something-else. You get the picture. Three out of ten times, there's some truth to it. The rest? Well, it's often left up to interpretation. Very charitable interpretation.

The beautiful thing, if you're Phoenix's Twingiant, is that when you have a fun and a refreshing sound you do not need a shit ton of hyphens

Since the band formed in 2010, Twingiant has seemed to pick a lane and stayed in it. Their stoner rock is cut from that classic 1970s cloth you may know well. The big sound of Mountain, the multilayered compositions of Black Sabbath, and down the line. More than a few have noticed bits of sludge metal here, but to categorize them as a sludge metal act feels inadequate. Twingiant seems like it is out to represent an immortal hard rock sound that will always be loved. It's a great sound, and one that has floated Twingiant from underground favorite to emerging powerhouse.

Their new release, "Blood Feud," comes after a string of critically hailed recordings. 2014's "Devil Down" (whose artwork was a not-so-subtle nod to Van Halen'sDiver Down”) and 2013's "Sin Nombre" both made Twingiant's reputation. There was a bit of grumbling that the last album wasn't as strong as its debut, or perhaps a tad too refined. If you were in that crowd, "Blood Feud" may be just the red meat you wanted.

There are many things to like on Twingiant's newest. "Poison Control Party Line" sees the double guitar assault of Tony Gallegos and Nikos Mixas that figures prominently throughout the album. It tends to be most resonant on this cut, but you hear its maturation on a song like "Re-fossilized." There's a subtle rhythm guitar element to it that quickly clears the way for the raucous almost full instrumental jam (vocals kick in more than four minutes in). You might be able to close your eyes and think this is what it sounded like as everyone lit up in the middle of Foghat show around 1974. Yeah, that sort of thing.

A few listens in and you come to value Jeff Ramon on drums. His playing on "Shadow of South Mountain" is without compare. Clean, rapid-fire and meets the challenge of Jarrod Le Blanc's hearty vocals across "Blood Feud." Ramon also takes on the steady build of "Last Man Standing" with aplomb. A good drummer can really make the other instruments blend together, and Ramon bridges guitars and bass into a seductive package in an all-around sharp performance.

As with any heavy rock group, though, Twingiant prospers with LeBlanc up front. Although it can't be said that LeBlanc has the greatest range as a singer, he is skilled at using what he has to the fullest extent. A song like "Ride the Gun" comes at you with a familiar sounding chord progression and chorus, but LeBlanc draws it out to something more unique with his signature snarl. He's also smart about stepping back and letting the music set the mood, as he does in "Throttled," where vocals don't go until a full minute in. And the pace Twingiant go for with "Blood Feud" is faster and more aggressive than even before. Thus, LeBlanc demonstrates a good intuition about what he's doing in a muscular appearance.

"Blood Feud" may not please all metal fans. However, there is a lot to like about what Twingiant are doing, especially for lovers of the classic power chords and wall of sound.

“Blood Feud” is available to preorder/buy here

Band info: bandcamp || facebook