Earthless
From The Ages


4.5
superb

Review

by Robert Davis CONTRIBUTOR (149 Reviews)
November 9th, 2013 | 31 replies | 4,753 views


Release Date: 10/08/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Tired of living on Earth? Take a trip on Earthless' latest album and you'll feel like you've been around the universe.

“You can get really high on one of our albums for $15 and you don't have to feel paranoid carrying it around either. You don't need to take drugs-our music is drugs.” And so says Isaiah Mitchell, guitarist and one of the driving forces of San Diego psychadelic/stoner/trip rock group Earthless, of the band's latest album, From the ages. You can scoff at that aforementioned quote all you like, but just take in a slice of the hour-long journey and you'll soon be converted to the band's everlong, far-reaching musical frontiers made up of adrenaline-fuelled grooves, out-of-control solos and an atmosphere which takes you out of this world and spits you into a completely different universe.

Yes, it's that good. Whilst each of the four songs on From the ages aren't necessarily “songs” in the conventional form (As a matter of fact, they're more closely linked in terms of structure to jam sessions), they certainly never seem to end. Fourteen-minute opener “Violence of the red sea” hits hard from the get-go, a head-spinning whirlwind consisting of as many solos as some two-decade old bands would have struggled to produce in their entire career. Here there are drums that thunder great aggression and excellent double-bass into the listener's ears. There are bass-lines which, if played at the highest volume, give the impression they're actually making the earth's crust crumble to mere molecules. There are no vocals, but who the hell needs them with instrumentation like this? The two songs which succeed the album opener (“Uluru rock” and the shortest song of the album by far, “Equus october”), both have a more gradual, tenser style throughout, but still keep hammering loudness and heaviness out of the stereo. The constant transitions between slow-burning, relaxing groove-based rhythms and distorted, almost wailing guitar riffs never manage to fail the songs' overall quality, and for that reason also, it adds to an already mammoth-sized atmosphere. The drum work seems to get better and stronger with every growing minute, becoming faster and more violent as Mitchell twists and turns from one crunching riff to the next.

The obvious opus of From the ages is, however, the half 'n' hour long title track. Clocking in at no less than a gargantuan thirty-one minutes, you would be forgiven for thinking that this is going to drone on and on to fill the time. Yet from the moment that Mitchell begins to strum an instantly memorable and driving riff, those negative thoughts can safely be quashed. The title track, like the three songs that precede it, varies throughout both in terms of style and pace. Each and every band member (and let's face it, there are only three) manages to show off their talented chops, attempting to and succeeding at eviscerating the excellence of the album's first three tracks by taking you on a journey, which, by the end of the song, you hope will never ends. Guitars are heavier than ever before, drums batter with the power and strength of a mechanical bull, bass-lines rumble to a startlingly epic finish. And when all three instruments come together towards the end to make for a slightly more atmospheric albeit no less raw sound, it all begins to make sense and you'll perhaps be wondering why you ever questioned any aspect of the band's sound.

Put simply, From the ages is an exercise in taking the listener on a universal, musical journey, which is done in such a way as to make you hope that it will never end. It lacks vocals, of course, and some will be put off by the fact that these four songs are merely more of a jam session. But that can easily be ignored when instrumentation is done as spot on as this. If you choose to embark on Earthless' latest trip around the universe, hold on to your heads, because it's going to be a rather wild one.



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user ratings (34)
Chart.
3.9
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Comments:Add a Comment 
linguist2011
Contributing Reviewer
November 9th 2013



1856 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Full album:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_UBTosYS4kQ



CaptainDooRight
November 9th 2013



28802 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

pretty cool album

Digging: Tukaaria - Raw to the Rapine

Mad.
November 9th 2013



3692 Comments


Band has always interested me but I've never given them a proper listen, where should I start?

Nice review, Pos'd but you need to fix how when you write "From the ages" you need a capital 'A'.

Digging: Anubis - Hitchhiking to Byzantium

JamieTwort
Contributing Reviewer
November 9th 2013



20356 Comments


Props for reviewing this. Still haven't heard this in full but what I have heard of it rules. Hope to get it on vinyl soon.

Great review too, pos'd.

A couple of things I noticed that might be worth considering:

The two songs which succeed “Violence of the red sea”, “Uluru rock” and the shortest song of the album by far, “Equus october”, both have a more gradual, tenser style throughout


This might read better if it was worded something like this: The two songs which succeed the album opener; “Uluru rock” and the shortest song of the album by far, “Equus october” I had to read twice as I thought you were listing 3 tracks at first.


Clocking in at no more than a gargantuan thirty-one minutes


I think "Clocking in at no less than" would be more appropriate given its excessive length.


Really good job overall though.

linguist2011
Contributing Reviewer
November 9th 2013



1856 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thanks guys.

@Mad.-I've been given different advice about whether to capitalize or not, so I guess there's no right or wrong way regarding that. Thanks for the tip though.

@JamieTwort-I see what you mean there. Sorted them out. Thanks for the tips.

Mad.
November 9th 2013



3692 Comments


Surely since the title of the album is capitalised, being a name, plus how it's stylised would indicate a capital A? Seems odd to me

How can this have so few comments?! I thought Earthless were pretty well-known ...

conesmoke
November 9th 2013



5198 Comments


they go alright, the world needs more stoner rock reviews so nice m/ i'm gunna try pump a couple out over the next month or so.

Underflow
November 9th 2013



2554 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Someone beat me to it! Good write-up.

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
November 10th 2013



5996 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Very good review, pos.

Jamming the album right now, and I can sense what you wrote Robert.

In the recommended albums section, I would also put Trouble and Manic Depression from Trouble.

Digging: Lisa Gerrard - Twilight Kingdom

Mad.
November 10th 2013



3692 Comments


Shame the artwork kinda sucks, the Cosmic Sky one was awesome

Hoppoman
November 10th 2013



634 Comments


Need to pick this up then, it looks good.

linguist2011
Contributing Reviewer
November 10th 2013



1856 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

@Voivod: I haven't managed to listen to a full Trouble album yet (though have heard various songs here and there), but I'll give them a spin now that you mention them.

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
November 10th 2013



3363 Comments


It's a great record, but the title track is too long and gets boring (they don't change the riffs that much to justify 30 minutes worth of music). Nevertheless, great review, pos.

Digging: Anberlin - Lowborn

Underflow
November 10th 2013



2554 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

The artwork is awesome haha. Also, the only track here I could live without is Equus October, but that's not to say it's bad. From the Ages may be my favorite Earthless track.

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
November 10th 2013



3363 Comments


I dig the shorter tracks, but From The Ages loses momentum halfway through for me.

Underflow
November 10th 2013



2554 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Have you heard the Live at Roadburn version?

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
November 10th 2013



3363 Comments


No, I've only listened to the three studio albums. I'll check that one out too. Earthless are a live band, I'm surprised how well they translated their stuff to the studio

Underflow
November 10th 2013



2554 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Yeah, the one of Live at Roadburn is a bit different. The middle section has a noisy circular drone
in it.

By the way, the vinyl for this album is absolutely incredible. Not only is it one of the best looking
gatefolds I've ever seen (incredible artwork), but the records are dead silent on surface noise and
pops and clicks.

Mad.
November 10th 2013



3692 Comments


Artwork probably would look better larger I guess but I still don't like it that much :

Jethro42
November 10th 2013



12390 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

After hearing the first two songs, I'm ready to listen to the t/t. Excellent jamming so far. I really love the drum playing.
Good job on the review, posd.



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