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Earth (USA) Angels of Darkness, Demons of Light II
CD, Released date : 14 February 2012 - Southern Lord Records

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RATING SOM : 15/20
All rates : 16/20 You must be logged to rate this album
Tracklist
1. Sigil of Brass 03:32
2. His Teeth Did Brightly Shine 09:00
3. Multiplicity of Doors 13:04
4. The Corascene Dog 08:26
5. The Rakehell 11:51
Total playing time 45:53

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3 ratings 2 16/20
Review
15 / 20
    JoeNoctus, Thursday 19 January 2012 Talk to your friends  
Angels of Darkness, Demons of Light Part II is a cooler, more concise Earth.

For those pining for more of Earth's earlier dro)))ne material, I'd encourage you to look elsewhere. I think you know as well as I do that you won't find it here. Earth's material since their regroup in 2003 has been a totally new page, as anyone who has been following them will be completely aware of. The metal is gone, though some argue the metal wasn't even there to begin with and their arguments for this aren't really without merit. Earth was completely devoid of what a lot of metal artists used as the very element and essence of their sound, and this is what made them such a legend in the drone fanbase. Nowadays however they're known for a very different sound. A very relaxing, warm and meditative ensemble of slow, sprawling pieces that you totally lose yourself in. Void of vocals, builds and progressions (apart from very, very subtle ones) and any distortion or heavy drum beats, Earth has for lack of a better term "chilled out".

In the new album, they're still chilled out. The almost country-like tones still ring true. They're still slow, sprawling, meditative. In fact, the biggest change from the last record to now is probably the fact that they've become even more minimalistic and chilled out. Many of the compositions here are even sparser than before, often being totally devoid of a drumbeat and relying solely on the distinctive melodies and riffs from the clean, vintage-toned guitars and the resonance from the instruments themselves. But an unexpected outcome occurs where it becomes even more engaging for it. The atmosphere here draws you in just as easily as before, and where musically many may see this as unimpressive they'd be totally missing the point. It's the tightness of the band and the simplicity that makes this work, and where it doesn't do anything "musically impressive", the record would totally lose you if it did because the record's objective is to draw you in and keep you there for the record's duration and it does a wonderful job of it if you let it.

But where not a lot has changed since the last record there's quite a distinct change in the feel of the sound. Where the first part of "Angels of Darkness, Demons of Light" had a very still, warm feel to it, this feels almost totally different despite the instrumentation being the same. If you were to listen to these records in succession (which I wholly recommend you do), it would be like walking through a desert in part one and the sun going down and a cool, refreshing breeze rolling over you in part 2. This album feels cool, even more laid back and it's the perfect continuation to part 1 in terms of mood and it's a mood Earth haven't tackled before and have somehow totally mastered without effort. Angels of Darkness, Demons of Light Is a cooler, more concise Earth and more importantly the best continuation of the theme that this band could have conjured. Those who usually scare away from non-metal music might want to approach with caution, but also with an open mind. This is a record that sucks you in once you let it and captivates you until the very last note is played.

So, it's more Earth, but it's the record that needed to be made to perfectly close off the last album of the series. Even though no innovation has come into play, let's face it, who does it better than Earth? Just sit back and sit in the cool breeze and let this play out as the perfect soundtrack to your thoughts. It's quite a fitting one, too.




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16 / 20
    VesselsOfBlood, Wednesday 11 July 2012 Talk to your friends  
Chilled Drone Tunes

It’s been over 20 years since Washington quartet Earth began to drift over the music world like a thundering cloud. Inspiring and influencing bands such as Sunn O))), this group has always pioneered the dark and experimental side of the metal and rock scene with their sluggish and hypnotic tunes. As the years passed, as Earth has released famed records such as “Earth 2- Special Low Frequency Version” in 1993, “Pentastar: in the Style of Demons” in 1996 and “The Bees Made Honey in the Lion’s Skull” in 2008, the quartet continued to stir up a large crowd. Finally, in early 2012, Earth has set off a new album entitled “Angels of Darkness, Demons of Light II,” the obvious sequel to their previous record back in 2011. Marching on from where this quartet left off from the past year, Earth adds another album to their enormous collection of some of the most enticing experimental music the music scene has ever had to offer.

Since Earth’s fans witnessed the band’s reunion back in 2003, it seems like the quartet has started to change their sound a bit, and this is confirmed in the sequel. They’ve chilled their sound out compared to their regular buzzing distorted guitar soundscapes before they temporarily split up in 1997, and since they got back together, they've tuned down to a more relaxed, somewhat acoustic feel for their music. The second track, “His Teeth Did Brightly Shine,” is probably the most solid piece of evidence of that shift the band has taken. The track’s 9-minute-long march begins with a simple bass strumming, before the second guitar then follows with a bluesy-like tone. Afterwards, the guitar starts to get a little experimental, with its riffs slowly growing more complex and bending. It gives the listener a mental picture of a large army taking a slow and dreary march over the snowy mountains or some distant, barren plain. This is especially fitting for the album artwork, created by Stacey Rozich, which shows the picture of some odd-looking creatures marching on with their pitchforks, and banners.

However, that’s not as deep as this band gets into the trenches in “Angels of Darkness, Demons of Light II.” The darkest track of them all would probably be “A Multiplicity of Doors.” As stated earlier, “His Teeth Did Brightly Shine” gives the listener the picture of an army slowly marching to their next destination. As for “A Multiplicity of Doors,” it gives the listener the picture of a broken army slowly marching away in total defeat. The echoing drums, the silently weeping cello, and the depressive guitars paint this saddening picture greatly, and may very well be the greatest highlight of the album. Tracks in this record, such as the ones mentioned earlier, prove that bands sometimes don’t even need vocals or lyrics to tell their dark and tragic tales; Earth lets the music speak for itself, and it really demonstrates the high levels of musicianship the band members take in this record.

On the other hand, the last track that “Angels of Darkness, Demons of Light II” has to offer, “The Rakehell,” doesn’t exactly give the same dark and brooding vibe as the previous tracks. In fact, while the country-bluesy influence is still lingering, “The Rakehell” has a rather groovy and jazzy feel to it, especially the easy drums. This track is quite sluggish like the rest, but it’s somewhat more lighthearted and the greatest out of all the tracks for relaxation and meditation. Next to “A Multiplicity of Doors,” “The Rakehell” is also another candidate as one of the album’s greatest hits. “Sigil of Brass,” while still sharing the same dark theme as the other tracks, also fits in the same category as “The Rakehell” as one of the album’s more meditative and chilled tracks, with its simple structure of guitar and bass plucking with a touch of cello and cymbals roaming in the background.

Angels of Darkness, Demons of Light II” is yet another fine addition to Earth’s collection of chilled and dark drone. Overall, there are only a couple real drawbacks to this record. First, about half of the tracks in “Angels of Darkness, Demons of Light II” somewhat lack the interesting and experimental music buildup that was found in “The Bees Made Honey in the Lion’s Skull,” their best record thus far. Secondly, if you’re looking for some exciting music that will get your adrenaline pumping like crazy, or the same buzzing drone that they played back in their early years, you’ll want to steer away from this record. “Angels of Darkness, Demons of Light II” is still a great record nonetheless, and it shouldn’t disappoint fans of their works since they rejoined in 2003. If you’re looking for some relaxing, subtly psychedelic, and intriguing music that also stirs deep thought and meditation in your head, this album is highly recommended. Earth has created the soundtrack for a good and long march to the next world.




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