Review Summary: Earth made drone metal more than a one band, one album experiment. Pioneers in the genre where no one matches them.
Earth could be considered one of the most important bands in musical history. They single-handedly invented a style of music that came to be known as Drone Metal and they released their debut EP on Sub-Pop Records. This is their first official full length album, Earth 2, also known as Special Low Frequency Version
. This is drone metal at its natural start, uninhibited by experimentation with other instruments or reverting to cleaner sounds. This is probably the heaviest drone has ever been. The band consisted of two members, Dylan Carlson and Dave Harwell on guitars and bass respectively. Some of you may know the name Dylan Carlson as he was somewhat famous for being Kurt Cobain’s “best friend”. This gave the band some sort of credibility among the waves of countless other Sub-Pop bands. Earth 2 definitely wasn’t a release expected from a major label. In fact, it was probably the least popular thing to put out at the time. They did gain some sort of popularity though, as evidenced by the fact that Sunn O))) formed as an Earth tribute band. Earth also took their name from the original name of Black Sabbath.
Speaking of Black Sabbath, Earth 2 draws a major influence from them. Imagine Sabbath’s first album. Then slow down one of the riffs in the songs and drench it in fuzz and feedback. Then stretch that riff out for 30 minutes. That’s what you’re getting throughout this album. While the songs are lovingly drenched in layers of feedback, sometimes you can make out a riff to a song. Seven Angels
has a nice chugging, doom metal riff that maintains a certain level of catchiness throughout the song. It’s buried beneath all of the crushing noise so it takes a good ear or a few listens to make out this riff. The rest of the songs have good doom riffs too, all of them buried beneath feedback. The other parts of this album include some low-tuned bass playing which fits well into the mixture of the guitar sound and can be clearly heard. There is also some minimal percussion and electronic noises scattered throughout. None of the 3 songs really stand out from each other unless you listen closely, but it makes for great calming background music.
The production on this album is suitably raw. It’s not over produced at all and each instrument can be heard clearly. The guitars are cranked up in volume and the bass is lowered for a nice counter-balance. Earth 2 is best listened to with a pair of high quality headphones and the volume up high to hear the crushing blast on your eardrums. This album is essentially the perfect drone metal album. It’s loud, noisy and heavy and it gives you a sense of relaxation and calm after you’re done listening. The only problem is that people who listen to more traditional rock and metal may find this album frustrating for having only 3 songs and being extremely repetitive. A classic album from one of the legends of the metal scene.