Thursday, March 07, 2013

Galvano: Two Titans (2012)

Moving (and Renaming) Mountains

Review by joanismylover, the third metal attorney.

The Grand Tetons are a pair of mountains in America named that by the French because they looked like boobs. Or so I was told. These lonely, horny French explorers must have really been bored - naming the mountains after big breasts. Galvano's "Two Titans" is not inspired by the Grand Tetons. At least I'm pretty sure it is not. But nonetheless that's what I thought of when I read the title of the album, proving in one fell swoop that I am probably a pervert and not a very bright one at that.

I am bright enough to hear the goodness in this "epic sludge" release. Galvano have a High on Fire influence but they lighten the sound and spread it out, and they forsake that band's unbridled ferocity in favor of prog tendencies. It's not bad - actually, it's really good, but at first I didn't dig it. The first two tracks did not help, to be honest. They were good but not great and progressive but not that interesting.

But things really take off with the aptly named "Destroyer" a barnburner and skull crusher of Mastodon intensities. If all of it were this good - and a lot of it is - it'd be higher rated. But then Galvano flush that momentum down the toilet with a 5 minute acoustical interlude that goes nowhere and did I say takes five minutes to do so? Track #4? I mean I get the whole atmosphere building thing, the quiet loud - dynamics. I understand that South of Heaven was the necessary counterpoint of the archetype Reign in Blood. The pause. The breath. But put that shit in the right place and make it count. I don't even care if it's long if it's interesting and builds atmosphere. Bell Witch has an outstanding example of what works - "Beneath the Mask" on their 2011 S/T EP. I could play that song over and over again because it is interesting and rife with other-wordly atmosphere

It's an unfortunate misstep because some of the kids out there might toss this thing into the digital recycle bin at that point, when they shouldn't. "Ethereal sword" is what it is named. An other wordly blade of metal that'll cut you down and lift you up at the same time. Is this epic sludge? "Punisher" sounds like HOF but pulls in some spacey/uplifting component that I can't put my finger on. It's altogether the most furious track here but it, like the rest of this album, aspires to greater heights. Then Galvano go and kick your ass with Throne of Blood, which ratchets the previous "Punisher" progression up a notch, and launches into the stratosphere while being weighted down by the heft sludge core. Like mountains rifting to the sky. It's simply a fantastic, neck -snapping track and compels you to further listens.

If Galvano reach their obvious potential, maybe we could rename the Grand Tetons, "Two Titans".

3.5 out of 5 stars.

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