SpacemenSabbathRideZeppelinVerveFloyd. There. Now that the mandatory nod to this album's stylistic forbears is out of the way, we can move on to just how phenomenally _good_ it is. While looking at various reviews of _Feathers_ recently, I was struck how no two reviewers seem to agree on which song is the "highlight" or "centerpiece." That's telling of the kind of depth and consistency that this disc possesses--any one of about five different songs on it could have been the keystone of a lesser release.
On _Feathers_, Dead Meadow accomplish the rare feat of taking readily-identifiable influences and crafting something satisfyingly new out of them. It's not really revivalism, nor is it tongue-in-cheek; it's deep, sincere, and massively heavy work in the grand (and surprisingly vital) tradition of dark psychedelia. Having never heard them before, I was expecting at best a worshipful cultist's recreation of Sonic Boom's guitar tone or Blue Cheer's production values, but instead I got..well, listen for yourself. The record needs little further cheerleading.
As an aside, I see little basis for some people's grousing about how DM have "sold out." It's just the kind of I-was-there-first sanctimoniousness that happens whenever a cult band threatens to break out with a broadly appealing album. I haven't heard a lot of earlier Dead Meadow, but what I have heard sounds rather brittle, aimlessly repetitive, and undisciplined compared to _Feathers_.