Earth – Angels of Darkness, Demons of Light 1 8.3
Though I’ve written about Earth’s music before (here) I failed to capture his more recent period. Starting with “Hex, Or Printing in the Infernal Method” the project has taken a new approach. Rather than focus exclusively on the hopeless decay of walls of hiss and feedback, the new period is marked by a more optimistic vibe. I’m not implying Earth has gotten poppy or happy, but it gets pretty difficult to outdo him in bleakness.
As I started this album, I immediately felt certain classical bits I hadn’t noticed before. Perhaps that’s due to a cellist this time around (Lori Goldston, former Nirvana cellist) but I feel Dylan’s grow more willing to let this side show. Of course, he’s always referenced La Monte Young’s work as an influence, but you feel it here with the swirls of sound.
Lumbering through at their trademark molasses pace, I noticed how they at times evoke a heavier version of Dirty Three. Those dramatic tempos, the grandiose heavy guitars, all conjure up images of heading through a near endless space. Plus, the sound is considerably heavier than their most recent 2008 effort “The Bees Made Honey in the Lion’s Skull”.
Oddly, it feels like the most hopeful music I’ve heard from them. I get the image of walking through a cold winter with the sun shining brightly, going up a hill. Where I get such an image is from the crystal clearness of each track, whether it be the emotive tones of “Descent to the Zenith” or the pitch-perfect closer “Angels of Darkness, Demons of Light 1” They’ve cast off whatever pretenses of metal they had. Now they’ve fully embraced the “Spaghetti Western” style they’d been flirting with for so long.
If you’re approaching this as a doom metal album, you’ll be disappointed. Rather, a better way to think of this would be a classical/drone album. As a bonus, there’s going to be a part II of this released sometime later this year.