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EARTH

Experimental/Post Metal • United States


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Earth picture
Earth biography
Founded in Olympia, Washington, USA in 1989 - Disbanded in 1997 - Reformed in 2003

EARTH was formed by guitarist, vocalist and percussionist Dylan Carson with vocalist Slim Moon and guitarist Greg Babior and took their name from the original band name of Black Sabbath.
Carlson was notable for being friends with Kurt Cobain from Nirvana as well as having purchased the same gun Cobain would later kill himself with.
Although the band originated from Olympia, Washington, they later moved to the far bigger Seattle area where they are currently based.
From the album "Sunn Amps and Smashed Guitars" released in 1995 which features one live track and 4 songs taken from a 1990 demo, Kurt Cobain notably features on vocals on the song Divine and Bright.
Of interest is that the band SunnO))) whom originally formed as an Earth tribute band, named themselves after Earth's guitar amplifiers they used, Sunn amps, and SunnO))) would also use these amplfiers
Earth released a split with SunnO))) in 2005, "Angel Coma".

WHY THIS BAND IS IN THE ARCHIVES: Earth are known as the pioneers of drone doom, a heavy, minimalistic style of music and in the case of Earth, often long, complex and highly detailed compositions

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EARTH discography


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EARTH top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.06 | 36 ratings
Earth 2 - Special Low Frequency Version
1993
3.71 | 14 ratings
Phase 3 - Thrones And Dominions
1995
3.44 | 16 ratings
Pentastar - In The Style Of Demons
1996
3.96 | 23 ratings
Hex; Or Printing In The Infernal Method
2005
3.27 | 14 ratings
Hibernaculum
2007
3.78 | 64 ratings
The Bees Made Honey In The Lion's Skull
2008
3.48 | 28 ratings
Angels Of Darkness, Demons Of Light - I
2011
3.28 | 18 ratings
Angels Of Darkness, Demons Of Light - II
2012
3.07 | 11 ratings
Primitive And Deadly
2014
3.00 | 3 ratings
Full Upon Her Burning Lips
2019

EARTH Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.25 | 4 ratings
Sunn Amps And Smashed Guitars Live
1995
2.33 | 3 ratings
070796
2003
2.40 | 5 ratings
Living In The Gleam Of An Unsheathed Sword
2005
2.67 | 3 ratings
Live Hex: In A Large City On The North American Continent
2006
2.00 | 2 ratings
Live Europe 2006
2007
3.00 | 4 ratings
Radio Earth - Live 2007
2008

EARTH Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

EARTH Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.00 | 2 ratings
Legacy Of Dissolution
2005
3.20 | 5 ratings
A Bureaucratic Desire for Extra Capsular Extraction
2010

EARTH Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

3.14 | 7 ratings
Extra Capsular Extraction
1991
2.00 | 1 ratings
Divine And Bright
2003

EARTH Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Full Upon Her Burning Lips by EARTH album cover Studio Album, 2019
3.00 | 3 ratings

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Full Upon Her Burning Lips
Earth Experimental/Post Metal

Review by TCat
Collaborator Eclectic Team

3 stars The Experimental/Post Metal band 'Earth' has been influential for some time now, yet has mostly stayed under the radar among the public. As one of the bands that would impacted the drone rock sub-genre, they formed in the state of Washington in 1989 and named themselves after the original name for 'Black Sabbath'. They also influenced one of the most major drone rock bands now in existence, 'Sunn0)))' who named their own band after 'Earth's amplifiers and would also use those amplifiers in their own band.

Earth was originally founded by Dylan Carson, Slim Moon and Greg Babior. The band actually disbanded in 1997, then reformed in 2003. They have released 10 full length studio albums, 6 live albums, 2 compilations and 2 EPs. Their line up has changed a lot over the years, but since their reformation in 2005, the duo of founder Dylan Carson (guitars, bass) and Adrienne Davies (drums, percussion) has remained the core of the band and have often had several other musicians on various albums.

On their 10th full length studio album 'Full Upon Her Burning Lips', released in May of 2019, the complete line up consists only of the duo mentioned above. The album consists of 10 tracks and has a run-time of almost 63 minutes. Two of the tracks are over 10 minutes in length. Dylan Carson has always experimented with riff repetition. He structures interesting riffs and then builds soundscapes upon those riffs. On this album, the aim was to create a more basic sound which is why the band is stripped way back to its essentials.

'Datura's Crimson Veils' begins the album with a 12 minute track that begins with the ringing establishment of the main, slow riff, repeated by the guitar and some echoing effects. After a minute or so, the drums come in, slowly accompanying the guitar and bass, the instruments provide variations centered around the main riff and introduce other repeated passages. The drums don't just settle for the same repeated pattern either, but embellish as needed to keep things moving forward. The music rolls along at the same tempo throughout as the players concentrate on the basic sound of the riffs. The music is heavy, but it is still sparse. The tempo picks up for 'Exaltation of Larks' and the guitar has a more chiming texture to its sound. This shorter track also utilizes an airy effect under the guitar that gives it a more uplifting quality.

'Cats on the Briar' slows to a more blues style and features three ascending riffs played sequentially in 3 different registers before it settles into a melodic riff and then as the track goes on, the music alternates between these patterns. The minor pentatonic scale used gives it a somewhat Native American sound. 'The Colour of Poison' has a glitchy, start/stop style that gives the track a hesitant feel. Later, a heavy riff makes the track flow smoother, but it returns occasionally to that glitchy sound and the track alternates back and forth between start/stop passages and smooth passages. 'Descending Belladonna' uses a descending riff followed by short bass patterns. Between these patterns, short rhythmless drones screech until the drums bring back the guitar riff. Later, the slow beat settles in as the guitar continues to create riffs with slight variations.

Next is another long track at over 11 minutes called 'She Rides an Air of Malevolence'. By this point in the album, it can be starting to get to sound monotonous as the usually slow tempos persist from one track to another. The slow, repetitive passages persist, as they do in this track, but the two longer tracks do allow for more variation of the riff themes. Since most changes here are subtle, it can be hard to hear much in the way of variation and dynamic, but again, the desire to concentrate on riffs and repetition was the aim of this album, and they definitely fulfill that desire. Like the long first track, this one doesn't change any in tempo, but provides more of a melodic guitar line as there is time for more development in that sense. But it does get harder and harder to sit through without the inclusion of other things to support the music or make it more dynamic. As it nears the end, there is a slight layer of feedback that causes dissonance in the main riff.

'Maiden's Catafalque' is a comparatively short, meandering track that really never materializes into any structure, but the slow, threatening vibe is still there. 'An Unnatural Carousel' brings back the structured feel and has a thicker sound thanks to the use of layered guitar. Repetition is still the key however. 'The Mandrake's Hymn' continues with the thicker sense that the previous track has, but with occasional feedback and more of a drone quality to it. 'A Wretched Country of Dusk' features a more melodic based riff which is echoed in tandem by bass. The continued slow beat and repetitive phrases with slight variations continues.

I understand the reasoning behind creating this album and the need to strip back the music to the basics, but an entire album of the slow tempos and minimal variation on riffs can be tough to sit through. I enjoyed the first half of the album the best, but by the time the 2nd half comes along, the sound starts to drag along. The track 'The Colour of Poison' stands out the most because of it's quirky and off kilter rhythmic patterns and tricky guitar passages, but even it resorts to alternating between this and a smoother melodic line similar to other tracks. Anyway, the main issue here is persisting beyond the first half of the album. The music does have that droning quality, but not in the way you expect, and quite honestly, I would have liked to have heard some experimentation with sustained notes mixed in with the better tracks because at least it would have given the album another level, but that wasn't the intent of this album nor the band, and while they succeed in achieving their intent, it unfortunately doesn't make it more interesting in doing so. 3 stars.

 The Bees Made Honey In The Lion's Skull by EARTH album cover Studio Album, 2008
3.78 | 64 ratings

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The Bees Made Honey In The Lion's Skull
Earth Experimental/Post Metal

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Man this really was a disappointment. Listed as Drone Metal, Stoner Rock, Post Rock whatever you want to call it, this particular album by this band is so pedestrian. The appeal for me was hearing that it was good driving music and I love to listen to music and go on long drives but no this isn't good driving music. The only other written review on this site subtitled his review with "Metal to sleep by". I agree. Every song sounds like the last, repetitive with out any variation with those down tuned guitars. Not heavy at all and so lazy sounding. Even if Bill Frisell guests on three tracks with his guitar it really doesn't matter there are no dynamics here, no contrasts. Anyway these guys have released a lot of albums but this one doesn't do much for me at all. A low 3 stars at best.
 Primitive And Deadly by EARTH album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.07 | 11 ratings

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Primitive And Deadly
Earth Experimental/Post Metal

Review by Finnforest
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Orange skies, desolate hours

Bands from the western expanses of America often have a detectible whiff of defiance and freedom to their sound. Earth are based in Seattle but I've little doubt its members take inspiration from wide open deserts and lonely highways-and in fact this album was partially recorded near Joshua Tree. And while it just came out in the autumn of 2014 it could easily fool listeners into believing this was some lost psych-doom-Kraut sludgerocker from the autumn of 1971.

While the band have been around for nearly 25 years at this point they have experienced a re-birth in the last ten, and there is little doubt this album is one of their most ambitious and intriguing. Sounding like a band with renewed energy and vitality, Earth have an ominous doom-laden undercurrent that screams early Sabbath but with a much less "metallic" veneer. Indeed this is not metal, or not what I think of as metal, although it could be classified under metal's umbrella. This is heavy droning stoner rock that is quite similar to New Mexico's Spiral in post-apocalyptic feel, but with much more emphasis on guitar and somewhat less on vocals. Here the songs trudge off slowly into the abyss with a plodding, marching pace, there is never any speed to the tempo. Think perhaps Bill Ward at half speed leading ten-minute explorations of massive doomy chord changes and meandering tripped out psych guitar. They do an amazing job of infusing ominous atmosphere every second of the ride. Progressive rock fans may be aware that the band's leader Dylan Carlson has stated Robert Fripp is the reason he ever picked up a guitar. While there is not obvious Crimson influence in the Earth sound, I think that the control and carefully measured dosage of Carlson's guitar work shows he takes something about dynamics from Frippian philosophy.

Three of the tracks feature some vocals with guests: former Screaming Trees frontman Mark Lanegan on two and Rose Windows singer Rabia Shaheen Qazi on another. Both are very effective in navigating the sonic heaviness and tortured unease that the long, writhing compositions require. The lyrics are dark and poetic, working quite well with the music. In the most entertaining way Earth's songs are compact little soundtracks to an adventure that could be played in your mind, or, as perfect road music for a real adventure in your life. They never much venture out of their creeping paced heaviness, which could be constricting if such an approach is not your thing. However the quality of the songs and the mastery of the funeral like rhythms married to twisting, distorted, heavy guitar work make this an experience that will thrill many. Upon release of the album the band stated they wanted to allow themselves to be a rock band and approach some traditional pop structures this time out. While this album is certainly accessible to anyone who picks it up, worry not. Earth's vision is as deliciously desolate and enjoyable as their fans expect.

Highly recommended for fans of heavy psych, desert-born sludge, slow doom-metal, and serpent-like excursions. The album is available in a gorgeous gatefold double vinyl spread and the band is currently on tour for those who love live music. 7/10

 Earth 2 - Special Low Frequency Version by EARTH album cover Studio Album, 1993
4.06 | 36 ratings

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Earth 2 - Special Low Frequency Version
Earth Experimental/Post Metal

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

4 stars One of the benefits of grunge toppling the ever stagnating dominance of the glam pop metal scene was that formerly totally underground strains of music suddenly found an audience. Heavily influenced by The Melvins, the Olympia, WA based group EARTH released their debut album in 1993 and created some of the very first ambient metal that would pretty much kick off a whole new subgenre called drone metal. EARTH's music totally bucked the trend for metal to be heavier and faster with ever more complex compositions and impossibly fast solos. EARTH took the most extreme opposite approach and created a type of music that metalheads and punk rockers might listen to while they do yoga or soak in a hot tub or just want to chill out without leaving their favorite distorted music far behind.

This is an album that I find intriguing. The distortion is a satisfying way cool fuzz that feels as if the shadow of the underworld has cast itself in the light and and an impending dread that is simultaneously ominous and relaxing lurks about on every repetitiously decelerated musical motif. I find myself liking this on rare occasion but it is certainly a rare listen that demands the right mood. My main complaint is that if you want to endure the entire album it is quite lengthy with a running time of over 73 minutes. Of course, there is no law that dictates you must absolutely listen to the entire album. I find this kind of ambient metal most effective as a backdrop to other activities but it is entertaining in its own right, however as a nascent stage of drone metal I find EARTH 2: SPECIAL LOW FREQUENCY VERSION lacks enough diverse elements to keep me coming back to it on a regular basis. It is influential for sure but when the mood strikes to listen to this type of music I prefer the later albums by Sunn O))) or Boris. Still though, a must for aficionados of cutting edge ideas in the constant diversifying world of metal music. 3.5 rounded up

 Earth 2 - Special Low Frequency Version by EARTH album cover Studio Album, 1993
4.06 | 36 ratings

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Earth 2 - Special Low Frequency Version
Earth Experimental/Post Metal

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Ground zero for the drone variant of doom metal, Earth 2 is a seminal fusion of the doomiest end of metal with a grungy sort of ambient music, to create a musical soundscape in which guitar riffs last forever and extend off into the horizon, going to who knows where. Like the best ambient albums, it's equally good as music to listen to with your full attention and as a background piece which fades into and out of your consciousness. Not for everyone, and certainly after I'm done listening to it I find I'm in the mood for something faster, but anyone with even a mild interest in drone metal will want this one.
 Angels Of Darkness, Demons Of Light - I by EARTH album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.48 | 28 ratings

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Angels Of Darkness, Demons Of Light - I
Earth Experimental/Post Metal

Review by darkprinceofjazz

5 stars I have thoroughly enjoyed this slab of prime doom and gloom mood music, Absolutely desolate, churning Blues doom, the 20 minute ending track reminds me of the doors track, The end. kept wishing Jim would pop in for a visit, I have been investigating more of this genre of music, The post rock Doom sound, Slow as a glacier, but heavy, and flowing. I never seem to wish for speed. I indeed Do find the best of this style very stirring. and never boring. this album is one of the best I have heard. and not a synthesizer to be found. How about that. easily 5 stars in my book. I understand the 90's stuff from this band is really different and even Heavier.
 Earth 2 - Special Low Frequency Version by EARTH album cover Studio Album, 1993
4.06 | 36 ratings

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Earth 2 - Special Low Frequency Version
Earth Experimental/Post Metal

Review by 40footwolf

5 stars The appeal of an album such as "Special Low Frequency Version" is difficult to rationalize to oneself, much less explain to another person, so this review is going to be very brief.

This album is mostly Dylan Carson repeating a few riffs tuned to the lowest possible frequency imaginable; however, this description does not truly do justice to the actual listening experience.

Imagine, for a moment, that it's the end of the world. You hide in your bomb shelter and you cover your ears and close your eyes as the earth shakes itself apart. When you emerge, you find something curious: While the buildings around you have fallen down and the streets are littered with corpses, you notice that the sun is still hanging in the sky and that it is still a bright, sunny day. And you notice a flower blooming from the wreckage of the post office, and think to yourself, "Perhaps this is a form of beauty". And if one of the last of the towering skyscrapers deigns to crumple atop you, you may think to yourself, "Perhaps this, too, is beautiful."

And that's "Earth 2: Special Low Frequency Version". Listen to it for yourself and see if I'm not wrong.

 Angels Of Darkness, Demons Of Light - I by EARTH album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.48 | 28 ratings

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Angels Of Darkness, Demons Of Light - I
Earth Experimental/Post Metal

Review by Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer

3 stars 'Angels Of Darkness, Demons Of Light I' - Earth (6/10)

A metal band with a characteristically un-metal sound, it can be swiftly agreed upon that the American drone music ensemble known as Earth has made quite a shift in their sound over the years. From their early days as pioneers of the burgeoning drone metal scene, Earth has now gravitated towards a more cinematic, psychedelic sound, which some might even liken to post-rock. With Earth's latest output, the band makes little change in their overall sound from the previous album, so while fans of the band can expect no derivation from the existing course, 'Angels Of Darkness, Demons Of Light' maintains the quality of their minimalistic, atmospheric drone, although the stylistic repetition and consistently relaxed nature of the album will no doubt lead to some listeners zoning out before long.

True to the title, 'Angels Of Darkness, Demons Of Light' deals with parallels; opposites. Despite a generally relaxed, chilled sound to the album that runs throughout the hour or so of music here, Earth does it in such a way that there is always a slightly unsettling, lingering element to the sound. A pleasant groove may be followed along, and suddenly it will meet a strange chord change, a chilling moment of guitar feedback, or added flourish that gives the experience quite a bit more than merely listening to the same repetition over again, as many might think when first hearing the band. It is through this that the album becomes very listenable throughout, although it's true that the album does wear thin after about halfway through. While the first couple of songs are quite interesting and still sound fresh, the album generally starts to lose its steam as the songs get longer. This culminates in the closing title track, which is far too listless and long, ultimately feeling as if it ends the album on a very weak point, and could have been left off of the album entirely.

From the first song (and highlight) 'Old Black' onwards, Earth does not stray far from their granted course; even two minutes in, the listener will know what to expect for the next fifty- eight. Slightly distorted guitars slowly and carefully craft textured riffs that really know how to build well, overtop very relaxed and minimalistic drum work. Throughout much of the album, the use of cello is heavily used to add an extra layer to the sound, an element that Earth hasn't used so generously before this. The sum of the parts ends up sounding like a cinematic soundtrack to a post-apocalyptic Old Western.

Earth may do what they do to perfection, but it's the lack of variety that really does the album in. While it may be the perfect piece of music to crowd around the bong with, a more intent listen goes the show that it is about twice as long as it should be. A relaxing journey this is indeed, but if Earth insists of making a long album, they must warrant it through the music.

 Angels Of Darkness, Demons Of Light - I by EARTH album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.48 | 28 ratings

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Angels Of Darkness, Demons Of Light - I
Earth Experimental/Post Metal

Review by J-Man
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Descent to the Zenith

Over the years Earth has been a pioneer of the drone/doom genre, and with each new release they've been shifting their sound again and again. Although I jumped on the bandwagon pretty late with these guys, their newest effort, Angels of Darkness, Demons Of Light 1, should undoubtedly please followers of the prolific act. The repetitive and dreamlike trance that characterizes the entire album isn't nessacerily my preferred listening style, though it's hard to deny quality like this. Angels of Darkness, Demons Of Light 1 isn't a flawless album, but it's many positive traits make up for most of the drawbacks. Fans of the much heralded The Bees Made Honey in the Lion's Skull will definitely want to check out Earth's latest opus sooner rather than later. This is a difficult album to approach, and not essential for casual Earth listeners, but it's certainly a unique experience that I've enjoyed taking part of.

Although Earth is often considered a metal band, there are absolutely no traces of metal on Angels of Darkness, Demons Of Light 1. The music here is a repetitive, yet still complex, mix of instrumental blues, post rock, avant garde, and jazz improvisation put into a drone-sounding melting pot. Although not my favorite genre of music, this is a unique, one-of-a-kind album that transports you into another world. My biggest complaint here is that there is a bit too much repetition, almost to the point where I completely lose interest. A good 15-20 minutes could've easily been cut off the album, especially from the closing title track, which, at over 20 minutes in length, is way too long for music this repetitive and dreary. There are some great songs here, however, that definitely boost my enjoyment factor. Songs like "Old Black", "Father Midnight", and "Hell's Winter" are all great, if a tad monotonous. The compositional aspect here relies heavily on repetition and simplicity, but it is often effective and enjoyable. The musicianship and production are both highlights of the album; both are professional and very well-done.

Conclusion:

Angels of Darkness, Demons Of Light 1 isn't an album that I'll put on often, but there's enough quality music here to satisfy fans of Earth and their ever-evolving sound. This is a good album to listen to with the lights off and volume set high. It's not something you can absorb in a casual listening session, nor is it something that's easy to grasp on first spin, but it can prove to be a rewarding experience in the end. 3.5 stars are well deserved for another high-quality release by Earth. If my personal tastes trended more towards the style of music presented here, I could definitely see myself going with a higher rating.

 The Bees Made Honey In The Lion's Skull by EARTH album cover Studio Album, 2008
3.78 | 64 ratings

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The Bees Made Honey In The Lion's Skull
Earth Experimental/Post Metal

Review by Dim
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Metal to sleep to.

Actually it's very debatable whether you can actually call this metal at all. Earth started out as a drone doom band, with a pretty high ranking in the musical world (or, high enough to have Kurt Cobain do guest vocals on quite a few songs), but I dont own any albums before Hibernaculum at the moment, so dont take my word for it. Anyways, now they play extremely slow paced stoner rock, with Krautrock, and obvious western theme influences, and "The bees made honey in the Lions Skull" is a testament to this clearly unique, and suprisingly soothing style of music.

With two Bass players, a piano/organ player, and the incredble melodies of Dylan Carlson on guitar, this album delivers slow, ambient songs to put you in a calmed trance-like state, feeling almost weightless. Unlike post rock, or ambient groups though, the music is not made off of layers of soundscapes, or multiple guitar tracks and effects, instead they use heavy distortion, and simple riffing to gently meander from passage to passage, with pianos to play with the guitars, and organs to set a backround. Acidic guitar lines are sometimes brought in to enhance the trippy effect the songs have on you, while the drums keep a thundering yet soft and slow tempo to bring the songs in. In the end, you have a collection of songs to gently nod your head to and peacefully enjoy. No song is particularly week, and though I wouldnt say any track is more intense than the other, "hung by the moon" is particularly beautiful, with some incredible piano, and a brilliant jazzy chord progression.

Normally I crave busier music, and Earth's contemporary bands such as Sunn O))) are a bit too ambient for me to get into. This album, however, relly hits the spot, a perfect chill out album! Havy, but in a serene way. Calm, but in a way that can keep my attention. So, whether you need some backround music while writing a review on progarchives, or crave some chilled out stuff to sleep to, or some music to space out and let your mind wander to during history calss (my personal favorite), dont let this album pass you up, a gem in the pantheon of sleepy stoner rock. 4 stars.

Thanks to HughesJB4 for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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