Boomkat Product Review:
Since Dylan Carlson’s Earth resurfaced back in 2005 with the peerless ‘Hex; Or Printing In The Infernal Method’, the band seem to have hit on a second phase of renewed creative energy.
Their last ‘proper’ album, ‘The Bees Made Honey In The Lion’s Skull’ showed Carlson widening the dusty doom-country he had pioneered on ‘Hex’ to include elements of jazz, and on this latest full-length he even brings folk-rock into the mix. It’s hardly surprising to me that Pentangle should be mentioned in the press release, their music (at least to me) has always retained a sense of folk music’s strange occult past, and this is transferred aptly into Earth’s sound. It might not be obvious on a cursory listen, but with the addition of new member Lori Goldston’s cello the tangled spirits of folk music permeate through the usual shattered country and blues. ‘Angels of Darkness, Demons of Light 1’ might not be Earth’s easiest record to get to grips with, and it is obvious to me that Carlson is experimenting more with the song writing aspect of his craft, but it is an album that builds progressively with each listen.
The echoes of ‘Hex’ and ‘The Bees Made Honey…’ are there, but with each album Carlson seems to refine his craft, chiselling it to a fine point and somehow making twenty-minute compositions deftly economical. In fact the finest moment comes with the album’s eponymous twenty-minute closing track, which slowly moves from a near-Bohren Und Der Club of Gore introduction into a glorious exploration of smoky, molasses-thick back-room blues-rock. Light up a cigar, pour yourself a tall glass of bourbon and sit back, you’re going to need to make time for this one.