Review Summary: Earth make a flawed but enjoyable album.
Ah, I remember how it was way back in the good old days. Not only did I discover music but I also discovered the sights and sounds that shrouded me. My main musical preference was fast pop-punk. In fact, I enjoyed anything as long as it was based on speed and electric guitars. If I were an innocent, young child looking into my future, I would wonder why in the world I’d be listening to this album. If the point hasn’t been put across, this is a slow dark record. The slow-moving euphoria of it builds up to create a sparse, intense atmosphere. Now, Earth are known for being a drone metal band but this throws the label away and tramps on it mainly by using less drones and parts that seem to border on psychedelics.
The tone of the band is one similar to a desert. The bare, derelict approach of this is something more compared to Kyuss or some other desert rock band than fellow bands such as Sunn O))). With this record, Earth has moved into an even more proper approach to their writing. This is more than just a few guys playing about with some crazy drones, no this is planned out extremely well. The guitar work is full of gracious melodies that make the listener’s attention stay at an all-time high while the drum work here is definitely admirable. Adrienne Davies has to keep the beat very slowly and this would be hard if there was an incompetent drummer playing but she pulls the drumming off perfectly. A nice surprise is also of the piano playing (especially on “Hung From The Moon”) which shows how far the band has come from it’s roots. The only instrument that doesn’t blow it’s peers out of the water is the bass guitar which is used for more of a monotonous mechanism and in some cases is completely unobtrusive.
While this album is amazing in many ways, there is still a lot of room to complain. For one, the same “slow nine minute” song structure starts to get weary and may cause people to stop listening halfway through. This could be solved by adding more parts in the pieces rather that using the same fragment for minutes on end which seem to be the main gripe. Listening through this provides disappointment to the listener since changes to the song pattern are a no-go and very bare. There are no vocals here so that may turn a few people off but those who enjoy musical landscapes will be coming back to this again and again.
Right off the bat, “Omens And Portents IL The Driver” shows the direction the band are going. With it’s deserted qualities and doused wah guitar, there couldn’t be a better opener that illustrates what they set out to do. The song encroaches steadily until it’s over even though the track after it is possibly better in every way. “Rise To Glory” would be my nomination for best track on here. Though it follows the same pattern of it’s predecessor, the guitar lines are much more appealing and fascinating. In conclusion, this is one of the band’s best records and continues on the style of Hex
, if large soundscapes interest you and you consider yourself a drone/doom fan with a habit of listening to new albums then you owe yourself to give this a listen however there are a few number of flaws which make this “okay”.