Twin God is a project conceived in 2016 by Bryan Elkins, a departure from the convoluted prog math metal of his previous band In Musth and is, according to the sleeve notes, ‘a sharper focus on concise songwriting’. Bryan (guitar/vocals) is accompanied here by Ed Charreun – bass and Felipe Torres on drums.
Deaths follows on from The Bones In Your Shrine Are Your Own single released in December 2017. The EP was mastered by the legendary Colin Marston, who you may know from outfits such as Gorguts, Krallice and Behold….the Arctopus.
The two tracks on offer are reportedly based on real people, Animate is a call to action for the wife of a serial predator who deserves to suffer while You And I focuses its attention on a man whose identity has been slowly consumed by a lifelong mystical obsession with his twin sister who died in infancy. Interestingly despite being based on someone the band knows, the first person that came to mind when I heard the description was Phillip K Dick whose own twin sister, Jane, died six weeks after they were born and whose passing profoundly affectedly Dick’s writing, leading to the frequent phantom twin motif in his work.
Twin God‘s Bandcamp page tags them with the sludge label, however that said, this is not the Allman Brothers boogie influence of EyeHateGod or the monotonous trudge of Crowbar. The vocals are more controlled and not the chaotic shrieks of Mike IX Williams, it’s more of a bark than anything else, recalling Dave Sardy of noise rockers Barkmarket.
judging by the grim EP title, you’d expect to be crushed by a never-ending riff fest but instead you’re met by something far more nuanced…
First track Animate is heavy but with a distinctively progressive edge and a Voivod vibe. There are also elements of bands like Big Business and Karp (the latter featured Big Business’ Jared Warren). Talking of Big Business, the track recalled their controversial Mind The Drift album, controversial as it toned down the heavy Melvins style sludge in favour of something a little more musically sophisticated, much to the fans chagrin. So if you liked that album then there is every chance you’ll dig Animate. I would state that it takes a couple of listens to fully absorb, because judging by the grim EP title, you’d expect to be crushed by a never-ending riff fest but instead you’re met by something far more nuanced.
The other track You And I closes the EP and starts with a low rumbling bass and a slightly heavier sound that reminds me of Black Cobra on half speed. There’s a little more harshness to the vocals this time round, but not overbearingly so as you can make out the words, which isn’t always possible in the realms of sludge metal. Reading the lyrics, and going by the aforementioned theme, makes for a moving and sad listening experience, the deep sense of loss permeating throughout. Botch is mentioned in the promo notes and while there are hints of that band’s offbeat mathcore influence present here, it is less disjointed and more subtle.
The EP came with a myriad of live shots of Twin God and it does indeed look like they would be an impressive live prospect once the world situation improves, whenever that will be. Despite this being a short two track release, it’s one I enjoyed and considering it was recorded during lock down and epitomising the ethos of DIY (the vocals were done by Bryan Elkins in his mums Honda CRV in Brooklyn), I would say this is a promising release that bodes well for the band’s future.
Scribed by: Reza Mills