Earth – Angels of Darkness, Demons of Light II
Like most extremes genres of music, Drone does take a commitment and it’s not meant for the casual fan, but for those of willing to take the journey, the rewards are there. Personally, it took me awhile to really embrace drone., sure, I could appreciate the musicianship of bands like Earth and Sunn 0))), but I just wasn’t willing or ready to sit back and let such slow paced music flow through my headphones, I always wanted something heavier and faster. But thankfully, due in large part to “Monoliths & Dimensions“ by Sunn 0))), I finally invested the time listen and I’m better for it. This music, when done right, has the power to open your mind and evoke an emotional response and Earth is a band that knows how to do it right.
Having virtually creating the Drone genre, in the early ‘90s, Earth has been one of the most prominent Drone bands around. Their early work was heavy and full of distortion. However, after returning from a 9 year hiatus with 2005’s “Hex or Printing in the Infernal Method” the band has sharply moved away from the feedback drenched drone of earlier albums such as “Earth 2” and the music has taken a moreAmericanainfluenced turn. This is still drone but with a softer, more emotional quality to it.
It was on last years “Angels of Darkness, Demons of Light I” that Earth finally hit their stride in this new direction. It is a masterpiece and one of my favorite albums of 2011. The album was in my top ten, but looking back at the list, it easily could have been in the top five.
Continuing where they left off, Earth returns with their much anticipated follow up, “Angels of Darkness, Demons of Light II.” Part I was a powerful and emotional record and much of what made the record work is back on Part II, which makes sense considering both albums were recording during the same sessions. Part I was full of thatAmericanainfused drone, but towards the end, the improvisational side of the band started to emerge and this record continues in that vein.
The songs are stark and are allowed a lot of room to breath. As usual, the drums are sparse and move at a glacial tempo. The cello is present throughout every song and it really gives the songs more depth, particularly on “Waltz (A Multiplicity of Doors)”. The bass is simple, but it provides a solid foundation for each song. The guitars have that Southern tinge to them and at times, feel very bluesy.
The music has a very emotional aspect to it and as I’ve listened over and over again for the last week, I’ve found that my mind drifts away into an almost meditative state. The music is very relaxing and hypnotic but never boring.