Twilight Ritual

I missed this Arkansas’ band 2005 debut, The Head and the Heart, so I had no real expectations for what this band sounded like other than I knew that had former and current members of Rwake in their ranks and that guitarist Chuck Schaaf did a great job producing the last Serious Grind album. But oh man, did this end up being really fucking good.

Take Rwake as a very rough starting point, for a droning, post rock/doom mix but instead of twisted injections of blackened psychedelia, inject some fuzzed out stoner rock/doom, groaning sludge heft, some soulful solos and vocals and plenty of acoustic ambience and you have a record that drifts and rumbles with an artful, dreamy girth.

With 6 songs clocking in at about 47 minutes, there are no overly sprawling compositions, just 6 tracks of developed but not drawn out tracks of superior music that’s emotionally rending while retaining a sense of hazy but blustery despair. Opener “Into the Clearing” sets the tone for the rest of the album with a rending main riff and pained vocals from all of the members ranging from soulful croons, deep roars and feral screams-and therein lies much of the allure of Deadbird, as the vocal interplay is truly mesmerizing. Despite an earthy initial groove, the album’s longest cut, “Death of the Self” features a deeply introspective acoustic segue and crumbling climax that’s to die for. “Feral Flame” is the album’s, shortest, most direct track despite it’s scrawling, lumbering close out while “The Riverbed” is the album’s most lethargic, loping track with a Southern sense of drawl and groove amid the draining acoustics and crooning, making for a Down/Crowbar-ish hue to the earthy doom gait.

The title track closes things out with appropriate light/dark textures that mingle crumbling doom and delicate acoustics for an album closing that makes you exhale deeply once it’s all over. This is fantastic stuff from a band I only expect to get better and better with time

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
June 19th, 2008


  1. Commented by: swampthang

    Rwake = sweet so this must be a hot disc. def gun buy this

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