Earth
Angels of Darkness, Demons of Light II


4.0
excellent

Review

by David Foster Wallace USER (72 Reviews)
February 14th, 2012 | 111 replies | 10,178 views


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Dylan Carlson and his fistful of dollars

7 of 7 thought this review was well written

Imagine, if you will, a dusty, dirty, sand swept desert. Walking through it you tire yourself out, getting hungry and thirsty until you reach a standstill and then, you fall to your knees. You’re hoping to find an oasis or anything that can sustain the rest of your barely clinging life. Suddenly, out of the corner of your eye, you spot a small town. The sight of which allows you to soldier on forward, pushing your limits. The fallen warrior has now become the mysterious cowboy. You ask what does this imagery have to do with the new Earth record? Well this is the image I painted in my head while listening to this. A Clint Eastwood movie with aggressive hints of realism while Earth plays the Morricone-inspired soundtrack; it’s beautiful isn’t it? Earth has always been influenced by the abstract and different, whether it is otherworldly drones or spaghetti westerns and they always turn it out into something unique that others copy endlessly.

Angels of Darkness, Demons of Light Part II is a continuation of the western twang-meets-folk drone of the last album. Being recorded in the same session they obviously share similarities but the differences are strong enough in order to make one stand out from the other. In Part II’s case, its specific differences are the increased presence of cello and the more minimalistic approach to composition. Whereas “Angels I” had more notes and increased presence, “Angel II” is a far dronier affair that really has no specific standout track to divert your attention away from the humble droning. Only “His Teeth Did Brightly Shine” comes close to being a stand out, with its bluesy riffage intertwining with sharp-locked drums and atmospheric cello textures but “His Teeth” is far too long to hold any increased presence over the brain.

Honestly I can’t remember any of the whole songs on this, just a few riffs or twangy sounds permeating the speakers. Then again, Earth never made albums for individual tracks to stand out. Rather the record sounds better as one whole affair, a desert-themed, Morricone-inspired adventure. Think of the song titles as chapters to a movie with larger themes about it, with “Sigil of Brass” being the clarion call of the trumpets during the opening credits, and “The Rakehell” being the weird, twisty ending that gets you thinking. But rather than watch these chapters individually, you’d want to see them as a whole right? Well the same way works with Angels II. It can really only be listened to from start to finish without stopping, letting the drone take over your brain while reality disappears and you are absorbed in the thoughts the sound is giving you. Angels II is a hypnotic record of the best kind, one that puts you in a haze that you can’t come out of until the very end.

Hypnotics in music are not always the best thing for a band to do if you want people to talk about your music. I can barely remember this record as it is. Earth’s one crucial mistake is the lack of memorable song craft that we saw on Bees. As I said earlier, “His Teeth Did Brightly Shine” somewhat stands out but just barely. There’s a lack of cohesion and songwriting amongst the drones and it seems lazy and too relaxed. Dylan Carlson is busy with his solo album, but that’s no excuse for sloppily piled together riffs. What Earth do they do well though. I couldn’t say there’s one out of place track because there isn’t. They all seem to fit together in just the right manner and order. If the tracks were switched around it would just be blasphemous and meaningless. Earth at least managed to get this right.

Angels of Darkness, Demons of Light Part II is the end of desert trip in the head. Once the cowboy reaches the village, all is well and good. He may have made a few slight missteps here and there, but the work he did to get there is just fine indeed. In case you didn’t know, the cowboy I’m referring to is Dylan Carlson. Carlson is the lone cowboy who crafted the record with the help of some friends and is off to better and more mystical things, presumably becoming a folk-hero of legend. The Angels of Darkness series has finally reached its epic but slightly disappointing conclusion, and rightfully so. 4/5



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Comments:Add a Comment 
Urinetrouble
February 14th 2012



5760 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

http://pitchfork.com/reviews/tracks/13120-earth-angels-of-darkness-demons-of-light-ii/

stream right there

please feature

Ire
February 14th 2012



41753 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

u didnt use the summary i made for you wtf

Urinetrouble
February 14th 2012



5760 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

I forgot it Ramy I'm sorry I'll use it on my next weeview

MO
February 14th 2012



18449 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

"the western twang-meets-folk drone"

lol I had no idea how to characterize this, good shit

good review, all about waltz on this album

Digging: Immolation - Dawn of Possession

AngelofDeath
Staff Reviewer
February 14th 2012



16134 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

All about that one element of the last album they took and stretched out for over an hour.

CaptainDooRight
February 14th 2012



28738 Comments


Solid review bro. Listening to "His Teeth..." aws. Love the zone factor.

Digging: Tukaaria - Raw to the Rapine

Xenophanes
Emeritus
February 14th 2012



10592 Comments


Awesome review. TOgether it's an awesome collection.

Urinetrouble
February 14th 2012



5760 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Thanks guys

next review is going to be for Downer's band

MO
February 14th 2012



18449 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

"All about that one element of the last album they took and stretched out for over an hour."

yep pretty much, but if I had to pick a song from here, it's definitely waltz

eternium
February 14th 2012



16336 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Just listened to this for the second time. Not nearly as good as the first album to me.

rasputin
February 14th 2012



14538 Comments


All about that one element of the last album they took and stretched out for over an hour.


more like all about hex they took and dragged out across 4 albums

AngelofDeath
Staff Reviewer
February 14th 2012



16134 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Yeah, pretty true. But Part 1 was a marked improvement over Bees.

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
February 14th 2012



31053 Comments


Album is a bit of a snoozefest

Digging: Marcel Dettmann - Fabric 77

eternium
February 14th 2012



16336 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Part I is my favorite Earth album period. Each of the three (Angels, Bees, and Hex) have slightly different feels.

Nikkolae
February 14th 2012



4823 Comments


I liked "Bees..." alot :c. this is cool, i like both albums (pt. I and II)

Digging: Clipping - CLPPNG

Urinetrouble
February 14th 2012



5760 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

I always liked Bees first
then Part 1
Then Hex
then part 2

overall Earth 2 is still the best

Urinetrouble
February 14th 2012



5760 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

this was also about 300 words shorter than i liked

Nikkolae
February 14th 2012



4823 Comments


have yet to listen to The Hex :c, also forgot to mention that thats a pretty sick artwork

rasputin
February 14th 2012



14538 Comments


always tell this to people, but Hex and everthing before it are essential albums for the genre

everything after it is a replication of Hex, and imo not worth bothering with. everyone seems to have loved the first angels but it was actually zzz, and i bet this is no better.

though i still enjoyed Hibernaculum and Bees to an extent

AngelofDeath
Staff Reviewer
February 14th 2012



16134 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Hex is still my favorite Earth.



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