Earth
Angels of Darkness, Demons of Light I


4.5
superb

Review

by David Foster Wallace USER (72 Reviews)
February 7th, 2011 | 112 replies | 15,586 views


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: No one does drone quite like Mr. Carlson does. This is one of Earth's best efforts yet.

4 of 5 thought this review was well written

I’ve always wondered what’s it like to be Dylan Carlson. Being revered by fans of underground music and creating a legendary album, the man must have one big ego. The thing is, he has every right to be. He continues to make sprawling western epics in the drone genre under the name of Earth. This new CD isn’t an exception either. Mr. Carlson doesn’t seem to do this to please fans. It seems he truly enjoys making this sort of music. Who could blame him? It’s some of the most wonderful music in modern times that manages to be musically talented while still being pleasing to the listener’s ear. For that, Carlson should receive an award. Hell, for this he should receive an emmy and here’s why.

Earth have made such a progression in music it’s hard to find any sort of complaint with them. Sure you could say that they’re not heavy, that Earth has changed up their sound too much, or that Earth isn’t even metal. Then again, no one really cares what your opinion is, because Earth are still kicking ass in a slow and loud manner. Angels of Darkness, Demons of Light Part 1 is the first in a two part series of albums. It may not sound like there was a huge change in sound from the previous album, but there was actually quite the change up. The melodies here are more inspired by folk than jazz, and there is the inclusion of a new instrument while keeping it minimalist. Angels really stands as the best release of 2011 so far.

The variety in instrumentation really keeps things interesting. Within is a somber sounding cello playing haunting melodies in the background while a largely clean toned guitar jams out slow, voluminous notes. The spaghetti western vibe is still maintained throughout, with grandiose, Ennio Morricone-esque moments. Lots of slow chord progressions and twangy guitars dominate. Even the cello, mostly restricted to background drones, comes in and plays some wild west-themed music. What is surprising is how well the new folk influences are incorporated, with many spacious, minor key melodies clashing against an empty, airy background. There’s even some slowed down, 60’s style prog-rock playing, with odd timings and complex chords. It really gives the sense that Dylan Carlson doesn’t just improvise his songs on the spot.

I was really surprised at how much inclusion the drums had. On past Earth albums, they were relegated to being part of the background. Now the drums carry much more rhythm and weight with simple kick to bass drum patterns. The drums add to the music in that it’s not just glacial drone anymore; it’s something else entirely. Song wise a couple of songs blended into each other, particularly the last two tracks. Hell’s Winter and the title track have fairly similar guitar parts. They carry on into each other like one continuous theme. Other than that, the other songs stand out fairly well from each other, with each one trying new ideas while retaining elements of old.

Angels of Darkness is infinitely too similar to the last two Earth cds. It’s got the dusty western vibe of Hex, and the melodic, song-based approach of Bees. It certainly tries some new ideas, such as the inclusion of a cello and more rhythmic drumming, but overall it seems Earth have found a comfort zone lying somewhere between Jazz, Americana, and old western music. In the end, it’s this comfort zone that Dylan Carlson, and fans are most familiar with. Never trying to be too daring and never plaguing itself with too much repetition, Angels of Darkness, Demons of Light Part 1 is a commendable effort and here’s to part 2.



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user ratings (225)
Chart.
3.7
great
other reviews of this album
Volk23 (3.5)
Earth continues the sound explored on their past few albums. It's an excellent display of their musi...

Bob Vance, Vance Refrigeration (4)
Once again, Earth chill the hell out....


Comments:Add a Comment 
Urinetrouble
February 7th 2011



5760 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

feature it pleez. oh yeah, i might not review as much here because i write for potholesinmyblog.com now. i'll still try to review here

eternium
February 7th 2011



16337 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

The first ; is pretty unnecessary. And the , after please fans.

Great review. Great album. Great band. Great man.

Irving
Staff Reviewer
February 7th 2011



7167 Comments


Review is generally solid, but it is in dire need of some edits if you've even thought of desiring a feature. The first paragraph, for example, has a litany of punctuation errors.

Digging: Ty Segall - Manipulator

wyankeif1337
February 7th 2011



6739 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

I’ve always wondered; what’s it like to be Dylan Carlson


semicolon makes me want to kill myself plz remove

other than the grammar/punctuation errors good review, the last paragraph sums the album up perfectly

Urinetrouble
February 7th 2011



5760 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

review fixed asshats

Irving
Staff Reviewer
February 7th 2011



7167 Comments


And thus you get your hard-earned pos =)

wyankeif1337
February 7th 2011



6739 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

i will consider a pos, i just need to figure out if you're the one who gave mine its solitary neg.

Urinetrouble
February 7th 2011



5760 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

i didn't neg your reivew lol

wyankeif1337
February 7th 2011



6739 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

ok then, pos

nsbm
February 8th 2011



167 Comments


better than the other review

liledman
February 8th 2011



3826 Comments


should be either "what it's like to be..." or "..., what's it like to be...?" as a rhetorical question.

Dryden
February 8th 2011



12928 Comments


mind blown bro

Ire
February 8th 2011



41754 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

still gotta hear bees ugh i suck so much


Photon
February 8th 2011



1292 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

so this is better than bees then?

kanecooper
February 8th 2011



630 Comments


need to get this

shortz
February 8th 2011



201 Comments


Good review, I still have yet to check this out, but I haven't heard a bad thing about it yet.

Jebull
February 8th 2011



1340 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Holy shit new Earth!? MUST GET

Jebull
February 9th 2011



1340 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Out of the loop =(

lol

Ire
May 29th 2011



41754 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

earf

acorncheese
May 29th 2011



7119 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

earth*




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