One of music's great scientists, Gentry Densley (of math-rock wizards Iceburn) returns with another innovative experiment from his current project, Eagle Twin. Released by Southern Lord, The Unkindness of Crows picks up where Ascend (a collaboration between Densley and Greg Anderson) left off, taking the listener on an ominous expedition of experimental sludge, doom, and drone. Densley's shuddering and massively overblown guitars and dark, guttural vocals evoke Caspar Brötzmann, utilizing not only the normal sounds that the instrument produces, but also the little bits of sonic magic that exist at the highest volume levels. It's as if the guitar is less of an instrument and more of a tool for conducting a wall of amplifiers to create an impossibly thick wall of fuzz. While it's hard to ignore the powerful sounds created by Densley, Tyler Smith's drumming on this album is monolithic, standing alone in the sludge storm and creating an unrelenting beast of burden for Densley's guitar fury to ride on. The album's opener "In the Beginning Was the Scream" is a sonically crushing experience, slowly weaving from glacial stretches of buzzing drone and feedback to blasts of doom riffing, with Densley's dark, Brötzmann-esque vocals filling in the empty spaces. Eagle Twin are also able to ease up on the listener just as deftly as they crush them. "10,000 Birds of Black Hot Fire" is more open spatially, rising in intensity using a (relatively) gentle, atmospheric approach to build the song into an unstoppable machine. Eagle Twin's real success with this album is in creating experimental drone/sludge that is challenging and heavy enough for devotees of Greg Anderson and Stephen O'Malley, but dynamic and engaging enough to draw in listeners who might be too unsettled by the bold sonic experimentation of Sunn 0))). While not necessarily for the masses, The Unkindness of Crows is a solid experience for anyone looking for something that plays with the genre in an interesting, and powerfully noisy, way.
AllMusic Review by Gregory Heaney