For those of you who are unaware, Earth is a legendary band in the drone metal scene, given the fact they practically founded it. Without Earth, we wouldn’t have bands like Sunn O))) doing what they do best. However, since 2005, their music has been going in a markedly different direction, incorporating a drummer and various different instruments on each album. For example, in their new series of albums, Angels of Darkness, Demons of Light, they’ve incorporated a cellist. Now, they’ve split these albums up into two parts due to, as Dylan Carlson explains, the costs of pressing that much music at once for the fans. However, if the first isn’t any good, why get the second? Luckily, the first was great. Does the second continue that greatness, or does it sound like throwaway tracks? Should you buy it?
Well, before I get to the full review, full disclaimer: this comes out on Valentine’s Day. If your girlfriend likes Earth, you have to buy it.
Anyway, the new Earth album definitely sounds like it was recorded in the same session at the previous Angels of Darkness album. The instrumentation remains the same, and the albums do share thematic elements. However, this one is a lot more laid back, almost more intimate than the former album. I got drawn into this one more than I did Angels of Darkness I. The first two songs, Sigil of Brass and His Teeth Did Brightly Shine, do a really good job of drawing you in. The former is Dylan Carlson and the cello by themselves, playing a few notes that are only slightly shy of noodling. The cello here makes those notes sound almost ethereal. The latter almost sounds like it came out of some drug-addled western movie, slow yet very country.
Overall, I definitely recommend this album to anyone who’s a fan of Southern Lord Records, their record label. This album will resonate with those fans, and not just because it’s Earth. This is definitely not the most accessible album in the world, but it’s certainly gorgeous in its slowness and simplicity.
We had the opportunity to interview longtime frontman Dylan Carlson. The interview is below.