“Primitive and Deadly.”
Even though that descriptor only came for Earth’s 8th album, it’s about as perfect an encapsulation as you can get. From their early days of sheer walls of drone to their evolution to the starkest rock music on the planet, Earth’s music is elemental. It works on a geologic scale, moving forward like glaciers, slowly shifting like tectonic plates. And for their finest work this decade, they crafted music as meditative as it was powerful. So listen to our interview with Earth, read our thoughts on Angels of Darkness, Demons of Light and hear why it’s the best of the 10s.
Angels of Darkness, Demons of Light
Dylan Carlson mentions the Grateful Dead, Fairport Convention and Tinariwen as his influences on Angels of Darkness, Demons of Light. But like an abstract painter explaining what made them flourish the canvas with color, these are only tid-bits of truth. The rest is from somewhere surreal.
The musical comparisons are there. The expansive moments of Talk Talk’s heyday and Godspeed You! Black Emperor’s calmer passages, but both parts of Angels of Darkness are so firmly within their own world, outside reality is quickly crushed. This is heavy music, as massive and dense as a mountain. And you can look at it in awe or climb the damn thing.
The repetitive, cyclical nature of Angels of Darkness allows for a hypnotic entrance point. Larger musical structures appear over time. The traditional verse/chorus pattern is decimated for long gestation periods where dynamics grow as slowly as possible. Adrienne Davies plays, at most, at a Godzilla-stroll or a slow ebb rather than a beat. The music never bursts or breaks into something else. Like a long road trip, the scenery simply changes in smooth, subtle ways until you’ve reached someplace utterly alien.