It’s pretty much impossible to hear Glacial Gods and not think of Telekinetic Yeti. After all, a nasty falling out in 2019 led to the duo’s members both briefly claiming rights to the name Queensryche-style, and the material that comprises this album is repurposed from what was supposed to be a sophomore outing. Twin Wizard also utilizes the same two-man delivery method to dispense a similar stoner/doom sound. Hell, they even have two songs with “Yeti” in the title!
Fortunately, the dispute seems to have quieted down, and Twin Wizard is a pretty tight group when taken on their own terms. Anthony Dreyer’s ‘lead drum’ method is as forceful as ever, casting a relentless array of busy rhythmic patterns that are just as integral to shaping these songs as the riffs. Guitarist/vocalist Brad Van, also of Droids Attack, proves to be a fitting player as his fuzzy tone can be quite encompassing while his burly yell has a healthy presence that reminds me of Big Business.
I also find the way that the album’s songs are laid out to be quite interesting. The writing is developed with more songs featuring vocals than the half-instrumental Abominable, but the structures are often loose and greatly informed by the off-the-cuff musicianship. This approach risks feeling disjointed, but the riffs and vocals are able to leave hefty impacts. The instrumental flourishes that mark transitions between individual tracks also reinforces a live organic vibe.
And with that in mind, there are some pretty great songs on here. The opening “Ghost Train Haze” and “Sky Burial” is a strong one-two punch with some particularly in-your-face vocal/guitar trade-offs on the latter track. Elsewhere, “Smoke Wizard” and “Apothecary” are enjoyable blasts of stoner metal that revel in Sleep and Sabbath worship while “Ghostwriter” puts some extra conviction in the vocal delivery with some punishing sludge riffs to match.
Whether Glacial Gods is meant to be Twin Wizard’s debut album or Telekinetic Yeti’s second, it’s ultimately a strong slice of sludgy stoner doom. The chemistry is enough to make one overlook the baggage that this material comes with for some, and the balance between engaging arrangements and loose presentation is really cool to see. This is one of those albums that I imagine is even better live, and the band will likely only get tighter with time.