Tuesday, 24 January 2012
Earth - Angels of Darkness Demons of Light II review for This Is Not A Scene webzine
“Angels of Darkness, Demons of Light II”, recorded in the same two week session in 2011 as the first instalment, sees Seattle’s Earth delving further into the realms of folklore, and music that has at its essence the acid folk generation.
The album itself opens with ‘Sigil of Brass,’ a gently meandering interplay of delicate guitar lines that ushers the listener into ‘His Teeth Did Brightly Shine,’ where the interplay between the sparse sounding instrumentation moves onto another level. The tone is profoundly mesmerising and leaves the listener curious as to where these changes are leading. The pace of the piece builds laboriously over the next six or seven minutes, until finally ‘Multiplicity of Doors’ introduces percussion and cello to baleful effect. This is not to say that the momentum of the album is in any way fractured or non-linear, as each piece flows effortlessly throughout.
There is a striking sense of improvisational communication between the participating musicians which lends “Angels of Darkness, Demons of Light II” a strong sense that as each track passes, the whole is being developed organically.
The line up on the album, together with Dylan Carson is complemented by a remarkably diverse array of musicians including Adrienne Davies on percussion, Lori Goldston on cello (who has worked artists as divergent as David Byrne and Nirvana) and Karl Blau on bass. ‘The Corascene Dog’ follows on in the same vein of intelligent contemplative progression, and a common thread develops in that despite being the work of a particular mind, the pieces are now very closely informed by the participating musicians.
In many ways the album has brought together elements that have characterised Earth’s body of work over the years, from the lumbering, howling, distorted guitar lines that were such a feature of “Earth 2” we now have those similar lines again, but in a more restrained and subdued form. The familiar lengthy, repetitive lines are apparent, but whereas in previous incarnations those lines would have beaten the listener into submission with sheer volume and presence, those lines are now delivered with poise and grace and cagoule the listener into quiet contemplation.
The final track ‘The Rakehell’ adds yet another layer to the experience and, although still moving carefully forward, has a somewhat more tuneful, lounge jazz feel. Again, this is not to be derogative of the compositions on “Angels of Darkness, Demons of Light II”, but to suggest a dramatic leap forward for the second incarnation of Earth, who forge ahead in style and content and should be thought of as an example of the creative spirit in progress.