Dead Meadow is a band I can just pop in and be amazied by their psychadelic brilliance. Their music makes me feel that I'm in another world, or just floating in the clouds. They are heavy and light at the same time.
While Howls From The Hills is not as shockingly good as the debut, it's by no means bad. For starters, the songs "Drifting Down Streams" and "Dusty Nothing" have a acid-drenched Zeppelin groove to them. And there are a few more experimental tunes this time, such as the sitar-folk of "The One I Don't know," and the 70's doom of "One and Old." But there are a few moments that aren't as inspired as "Greensky Greenlake" and "Sleepy Silver Door." "Jusiamere Farm" is kinda dull sounding, and "The White Worm" has a first half that is just plain boring. It picks up later though.
All in all, you could call it a sophomore slump, but it's by no means horrible. Start with the debut though.