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Returned To The Earth

Crossover Prog

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Returned To The Earth Erebus album cover
4.48 | 23 ratings | 1 reviews | 39% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 2019

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Broken Healer (5:36)
2. Erebus (5:33)
3. Line of Sight (6:19)
4. Spirit World (4:55)
5. All Time Low (5:36)
6. Damage Done (6:31)
7. Nightfall (5:20)
8. 542 (9:09)

Total Time 48:59

Line-up / Musicians

- Robin Peachey / vocals, guitar
- Steve Peachey / keyboards
- Paul Johnston / drums

Releases information

Rhythm Digital
released December 6, 2019

Thanks to Cristi for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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RETURNED TO THE EARTH Erebus ratings distribution

(23 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(39%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(35%)
Good, but non-essential (22%)
Collectors/fans only (0%)
Poor. Only for completionists (4%)


Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by tszirmay
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Going backwards in the catalog for British band Returned to the Earth, and after heaping stardust, planets and galaxies on the latest 2022 album "Fall of the Watcher", I abide by my promise of investigating the previous 2019 disc "Erebus", to see if it is in the same league. Answer: a massive YES.

All those ingredients that made 'Fall' such a classic are already in evidence here as the trio of brothers Robin and Steve Peachey as well as drummer Paul Johnston had already contemplated the shift from Art-pop to a somewhat darker Prog-pop in a way with "Reach the Sky", a sublime tune on their preceding "The Best Kept Secret" from 2018. Once again, their exhilarating formula based on gigantic melodies, shimmering arrangements that deliver lavish orchestrations and impeccable vocals manages to deliver the goods in spades. The mood is deeply drenched in contemplative melancholia, shivering emotions, fresh and crisp delivery nevertheless and clever musical detailing that just keeps on giving as the tracks flow along, mostly in the 5 to7-minute range, save for the epic 9-minute finale that stamps this album with excellence. But the main immovable characteristic is the astonishing ability to carve truly superlative melodies and then adding the ornamentation elements needed to elevate the whole to the noblest heights of listening pleasure.

No hesitancy in suggesting a gentle immersion into their craft, "Broken Healer" shoves an articulate melody right between the ears, a forlorn piano setting the scene, electronic percussion effects adding a modern gloss, as Robin seduces the microphone once again, 'breaking down' the pained story that undulates in atmospherics. The second verse boosts the level even more, convincingly replicating the 'break down'. Immediate jubilation, mood masters, they are indeed. The flaming guitar serves only to accentuate the passion, as the poignant piano sets this patient to bed.

The dark melancholia of "Erebus" offers haunting and sweeping chords, luxuriant synthetic keyboards and a steady metronome beat, adding gleaming guitar phrasings that are full of echo and reverb, as the virtuoso vocal kicks in. Robin's delicate voice is definitely in fine company, a tone in the same league as legendary IQ vocalist Peter Nichols' (its actually uncanny). Shifting detailed spectral effects, swirling orchestrations (from Marion Fleetwood of folk group Tradarr) and the evocative voice of a singer who is convinced of his craft only adds to the overall quality of this superb track.

The adamant "Line of Sight" maintains the course, another convincing mid-tempo mood-laden song, with massive wall-of-sound guitar expressions and a soaring melody at the fore front. The quivering "Spirit World" sounds like a companion piece, offering the same glittering feel, but once again at the risk of repeating myself, another solid melody at the core. There is a strong similarity with some of Steve Wilson, Blackfield and Porcupine Tree's gentler material, such as My Ashes or Sentimental off the Fear of a Blank Planet album.

While the title "All Time Low" may indicate a fall into despondence, the track remains a delicate balance between upbeat rhythms and a few dips into melancholia, especially lyrically. The theme is immediately catchy and immersive, the sustained guitar motif underlining the main melody. Its clever and immediately attractive.

A subdued piano introduces "The Damage Done", a tragic plea of pain and suffering that is expertly sung, resonating deeply into one's soul, having that immediate pleasing attribute. The dense keyboard orchestrations combine again with the trembling guitar shadings to make this a most brilliant piece of music, as its tone is shiveringly obsessive. Powerful drumming only adds to the anguish. Tree-mendous track, I am sure Wilson would lose his basketball on a deserted atoll over this one.

The spectral "Nightfall" keeps the ship afloat and on course, all their tracks similar yet different but all structured on world-class melodies, offering a balance between attractive effortlessness and textured inspiration, jangly guitars, moody piano and solid thumping on the drums. Little details, like the pause in the singing between Night and Fall, these are the elements of seduction that appeal to me the most as a fan of this kind of romantic prog.

This a band that puts a lot of thought in structure as well, as their final tracks always seem to leave a strong afterglow, and such it goes with "542". "It is a song that started about terrorism and then also more generally about death that can occur at any moment while doing the most mundane things. That life doesn't always follow in the order you expect. The strings section from Erebus were repeated beautifully here, in isolation, making for a reflective conclusion to the album". Well, this song really takes the cake, as it's a crowning achievement on this album as well as their entire discography, a very proggy tune of sheer genius, armed with a hypnotic vocal line for the gods (especially if you are an atheist). I mean everything here is subtle, from the beeping synths, the deft drum caresses, the aching piano and the punchy electric guitar additions that gingerly evolve into a Gilmourian solo that just slays, dripping with unfathomable emotion. The final reprise of the string section explained earlier is sheer panacea, as the gentle waves collide on the rocks.

This is the kind of modern music that touches my inner sanctum, providing release, freedom, joy and enlightenment.

4.5 Terra trips

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