Angels Of Darkness, Demons Of Light II
posted on 2/2012 By:
At some point, even the most adamant fans of Dylan Carlson have to wonder whether or not he's just milking the cow at this point. Some would even go so far as to point out that today's Earth isn't even something that should be covered at all on a metal site. Personally, I would say that the answer to those types of concerns is two-fold, and is much similar to the one I would also give for an album like OM's God Is Good. First and foremost, lots of musicians in the "outside world" are diving into the whole drone thing, and it's important to drive home the fact that it first became popular with metal. More importantly, Earth may have evolved and expanded throughout the years, but the structural foundations of what made the band so great still remain. But that doesn't give them a free pass to always getting a good reception, either.
Earth is a band of innovation through transition. You don't even have to examine the band's albums closely to figure that out, with albums named Earth 2:... or Phase 3:.... Obviously, the biggest leap Carlson has ever made was between Pentastar:... and Hex:.... If battling a drug phase changed the creative pathways of even the brawny Johnny Cash, then there should have been no surprise with what happened to this project, critics be damned. But the main issue with Angels Of Darkness, Demons Of Light II is that nothing has really changed. Unfortunately, change is what has kept this band afloat for twenty years. Yes, there's the notion that these two albums make up some sort of a concept with the overtly-goofy album art and all, but it's still really hard to see an actual point for said concept.
All in all, the cello was a great addition on the last album, even though I still prefer Hex and The Bees Made Honey In The Lion's Skull to either of these new records. The country twang was something Earth needed in order to be so enjoyably slow, and it seems like some of that has unfortunately been buried under new elements on the past two albums. As progressive as this whole Angels Of Darkness, Demons Of Light series was, it should have been condensed into one album. I think if listeners are able to pick up on the fact that last year's album was the dark album and this one is the lighter of the two without being told which one is which, they're probably relying on additional substances to make the distinction. That said, the music here is still every bit as enjoyable as it was on Angels Of Darkness, Demons Of Light I, but the time to take a step back and examine Earth on a more macro level is now.
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Angels Of Darkness, Demons Of Light 1
Bureaucratic Desire for Extra Capsular Extraction
The Bees Made Honey In The Lion's Skull