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Earth – Angels Of Darkness, Demons Of Light II

Southern Lord

It’s long been traditional for “psychedelic, stoner, trippy, headfuck or whatever you want to call it” music, for the most part, to deal in Space. From Sun Ra to Chrome Hoof, from Sunn0))) to Hawkwind, the imagery’s been of space travel, or the void, or Heavenly light. And to be honest, Earth have also dealt in this, their monolithic and lazy-but-intense pace conjuring up visions of the planet rotating in that void. But even as their music becomes more palatable, more “mainstream”, if that’s even a thing, they’ve chosen to go underground in the most archaeological sense of the word.

The clues have been there, of course. From the very name of the band (which was a sly move, because as well as soil and the subterranean core of the world itself, Earth is, rather obviously, a planet, which brings us back to the whole space thing again) to their recent dalliance with sounds more associated with that most earthy of musical forms, country music, the signs have been there that Earth have seen heavy music reach an apex, turn, and begin falling and finally burrowing. Should have noticed with the Ry Cooder-esque guitar of recent offerings, to be honest- nothing says “desert” like that twang, and nothing says “don’t forget we live on a bloody great big ball of rock” like a desert. It’s right there. Rocks and sand and gravel. That’s the whole thing. Earth is, essentially, rock. And Earth are, essentially, Rock. Big fucking sheets of the stuff.

Music criticism has not ONLY dealt in matters of space travel, but also architecture. Cathedrals of sound. Monuments. Built of rock, and also of Rock. (Don’t forget that time we built this city on rock and roll, either).

Earth can’t be arsed with that shit. They’ve just started digging. Angels of Darkness, Demons of Light II is what that digging sounds like. But not in a claustrophobic, tiny tunnels filled with cannibals and broken relationships The Descent sort of way. Imagine Dylan Carlson as Doug McClure, and the band themselves as an immense tunneling machine, all brass, glass and steam, digging downtowards the earth’s core . And on the way, of course, they encounter vast caverns – space, in fact. But not interstellar space, just the very roomy kind. (For anyone who’s ever played Minecraft, imagine one of those times when you’re frantically tunneling through the ground in search of iron ore, and suddenly you break through into an enormous cavern, with lava, and waterfalls, and those bloody skeleton men. For anyone who HASN’T ever played Minecraft, play Minecraft. Preferably while listening to Earth. It goes quite well).

And in that vast canyon, you’ve guessed it, the Lovecraftian monstrosities are at play. Or being worshipped, or something. Basically, whichever it is, the end result is that they’re rocking out. Very slowly, and with an intensity that’s more than a little spooky.

Compared to [post=earth-angels-darkness-demons-light text=”Angels Of Darkness, Demons Of Light I”], there’s even more going on here – parts are even drum-free, which you would have thought would have robbed them of their Swans-like relentlessness, but which really hasn’t done any such thing. Bits of tune wander off at strange tangents; the whole thing sounds alive in a way unmeasurable by medical science. It’s as if the first AoD/DoL was building the world, and this one’s populating it. It’s like watching the planet cooling over immense periods of time following the Big Bang, only there are already people getting righteously stoned on it as it spins through-

-oh bugger. Space. There’s no getting away from it, is there? Dig it.

-Deuteronemu 90210 with a bucket and spade-

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