Dead Meadow, hailing from the D.C. area, formed out of The Impossible Five when they broke up in 1999. Jason Simon (guitar/vocals) Steve Kille (bass) and Mark Laughlin (Drums) went on to form Dead Meadow. Laughlin quit the group in '02, and Steve McCarty joined the group for Shivering King and Others and their newest addition, Cory Shane a few years later. With three releases already under their belt, a live album and a couple of line up changes and additions, Dead Meadow steps through the door and invites you for another hypnotic-psychedelic experience, this time a lot more finely tuned.
Feathers floats right in with sludging, and swirling guitars. Simon's lamely but delicately applied vocals fade in and draws you into the trance: "I fell out / none I came to the face of the Almighty / I fell on through." Simon's vocals pull you into his blissful fantasy like stories, which are sometimes bleak yet beautiful. Take "Such Hawks, Such Hounds" for example, with its Poe-esque like tale. "Three ravens wait over his cold bones lying as they are / the wind will moan forever more / they'll perch on his back bone beneath the morning sun / and peck out his eyes one by one." Simon's vocals have really improved and it shows throughout this album, especially in the standout tale "At Her Open Door." Partnered with a wonderful progression of spacey guitars and a hypnotic Zeppelin jam session to end it, the delivery of his vocals is soft and delicate and flows right along with the music. In "Sleepy Silvery Door" he sings more lamely and whiny like in the original version, but it's still appropriate for this song. There is no denying that Simon has really set a solid ground for his vocals as it shows throughout the album.
This album is Dead Meadow's most consistent album yet, going beyond fuzz and sludge, they expand a lot more into ethereal, and subtle sounds. Simon and Shane layer some of the most impressive loose chord progressions and riffs that I haven't heard in awhile. Kille, who is always on the same page with these guys, moves in unison laying down atmospheric bass lines pushing the feel of the music along with McCarty's drumming. Even fans of their early efforts who enjoyed Simon killing it on Howls from the Hills and Shivering King and Others will find something to like about this album.
Feathers sludges and flows all at the right moments. If you have an undying love for 70's acts such as Pink Floyd, Black Sabbath, Iron Butterfly, and Jimi Hendrix, and love that distinct classic tone, then Dead Meadow is what you've been looking for the last 30 years.
9.0 / 10
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