Eagle UnseenNovember 16, 2016 Mexican Summer
Like a whisper floating on the wind, “Moonshine” hovers in the air for just an instant before disappearing completely, leaving you to wonder if it was ever there at all. The track materializes out of the ether much like its creators, the elusive Shadow Band. A sprawling collective centered around the songwriting of Mike Bruno, here we find each player contributing an almost invisible layer to this amorphous spectre of gentle, magic-minded folk.
While the narrator tells a hazy tale of moonstruck love spells and a psychic rescue from the prison tower of reality, the sonic backdrop weaves glistening cross-stitches of stardust synths, watery hand-drums and dreamwaves of theremin. It’s a misty tale told from a perspective that sits happily outside of linear time and space, but conveys understanding from a separate dimension.
On “Eagle Unseen,” Shadow Band bare their teeth and growl. A self-made world of mythos and reality-bending imagery, this song is the band at their bleakest, taking a step away from their gentle folk wanderings in favor of a restrained but forceful battle cry. Beginning with the sound of a distant war chime and the rattle of bones, “Eagle Unseen” paints a picture of a punishing winter, darkness falling across the land and desperation settling in among the peasants and spellcasters who lie hungry beneath the cruel skies.
The song strikes a perfect balance between Shadow Band’s homespun gloom-blues and their impulses for medieval storytelling. Eerie synth lines permeate the thrumming march of acoustic guitar while vocal harmonies hover over bloodied snow. The ominous fog that permeates this track stands in contrast to their more glimmering, dawn-kissed folk creations. Here, the band outlines the eternal battle between evil forces and the pure of heart. By the end of the song, we’re still uncertain which side is victorious, but it’s been made clear that the fight is long, brutal, and more serious than we could conceive.