Review Summary: If you can imagine Black Sabbath without drums and vocals, while the riffs are being played much slower, heavier and lower and are repeated over and over again, then you’ll get a good picture of this album.
Earth 2 by Earth is a very strange album. This is the only album from Earth I know, but it’s really superb. Earth consists of one guitarist (Dylan Carlson) and one bassist (Dave Harwell). What kind of music do they make then? Well, they make drone doom. And what is that, some of you may ask? Well, drone doom is a subgenre of doom metal. Doom metal is very slow, dark, heavy music, like Black Sabbath. But Earth goes even further than that. Imagine Black Sabbath
WITHOUT drums and vocals. There you go, you have drone doom. Only one guitar and a bass guitar, which are both very down-tuned and use a lot of feedback. Sounds boring? Well, read on further…
I can’t really do a track-by-track review with an album like this, but I’ll try anyway and I’ll do my best to describe it.
The album kicks off with Seven Angels
, which begins with some guitar/bass noise and feedback. After a while, a guitar riff starts playing (that’s right, there are riffs on this album, not just noise). It’s really heavy, sloooooooow (turtle speed, it sounds like it’s thrash metal being played at a much slower tempo) and low (the album is sometimes called Earth 2: Special Low Frequency Version
because of that). But that same riff is repeated over and over and over and over again, for FIFTEEN minutes! And while the riff is being played, the bass makes use of a lot of feedback in the background. All this without vocals, drums or keyboards, and there’s not even a slight pause. Well, luckily there’s some variety. After 2 minutes, the riff is being played slightly faster, and about halfway through the ‘song’ (I hate using that word here) the riff is played much slower than normal. It may sounds boring, but when you actually listen to it, you’ll get into a trance and the slow, low and heavy riffs will get rammed into your head. I sometimes get the feeling there’s an earth
quake coming (so their band name seems pretty appropriate) or that the end of the world is nearby while listening to it.
The song doesn’t really have an end (like all songs on this album), as it fades into Teeth Of Lions Rule The Divine
(which is also the name of another drone doom band). This one is similar to the previous ‘song’, but it’s twelve minutes longer! It begins with some guitar and bass noise, which sounds like the previous song is flushed away and that they begin over new. Then after a while there comes a riff which is repeated through the entire song and that way gets rammed into your head. It is also played differently as the song progresses, similar to the previous song. So there’s really not much to say about this one.
After a while, the song fades into Like Gold And Faceted
, which begins with guitar/bass noise with some quiet drumming in the background. You can also hear a gong somewhere in the song. Great variety, huh? The song is less riff-based than the two previous ones, it has more guitar noise, yet it still works meditating (although some people may get a headache from it). Also, the song is slightly longer, it’s thirty minutes long. The song eventually fades out and the album has ended.
In fact, the whole album consists of one song which is divided in three parts, as all songs blend into each other and create a whole. This album is just one big, slow, sludgy monster clocking at 1 hour and 13 minutes. It’s slow, repetitive and hypnotising and it will drone
on to you, so it’ll put you into a trance. You can’t really call it music, it’s more like a sound experience.
Earth 2 is definitely one of the strangest albums I’ve ever heard. That way it was also damn hard to review for me. This was the first drone doom album ever made, and it influenced many other drone doom and doom metal bands, like Sunn O)))
(listen to the first three minutes of Dopesmoker
, that could’ve fit on this album pretty well). You may think the album sucks the way I described it, but in fact I love the album. It works great when you’ve had a hard working day or want to relax. I sometimes put it on when I can’t sleep, and that works great. I once was on a bus trip to Venice (Italy), and I couldn’t sleep. When I put this album on, I fell asleep and I slept for three hours straight.
On the back of the album, there are some descriptions of the album by other people, which are very funny and appropriate, like: “A physical presence in the room… I can almost touch the sounds”, “When I got up, I could swear I was a few inches off the ground!”, “Forget drugs and alcohol... I am now very, very mellow!“, “Always had trouble relaxing… After auditioning Earth 2, had an incredibly deep sleep” and “I feel alert yet very calm…Wonderful after a hard day”.
The slow, low and heavy sound of the album will put you in a trance once you’re listening to it. It also manages to create a very dark atmosphere (as you can read earlier in this review, I sometimes have the feeling there’s an earthquake coming or that the end of the world is nearby while listening to this album). And Earth manages to create that atmosphere without vocals, keyboards or drums, only a guitar and a bass guitar! Nicely done.