Dusted Angel: Earth Sick Mind

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Dusted Angel: Earth Sick Mind
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Dusted Angel: Earth Sick Mind
Doom Metal, Stoner Metal
Mankind Records
October 5th, 2010
Release length: 40:01
Myspace
Earth Sick Mind is the first full-length effort from the California-based Doom/Stoner Metal act Dusted Angel. This seven song romp through a Stoner tinged old-school classic Doom sound one would expect from acts like Black Sabbath makes for a fitting tribute to a style that is making a very strong comeback within the metal community. But, just how unique, or entertaining, is the mixture of classic and newer metal style basics?

There is no denying that this band was clearly influenced with some of the more classic acts that we, today, would consider a more Doom version of Rock, and there’s plenty of this influence throughout the album. The only thing keeping this album from feeling like a generic, yet well done, throw back to the darker side of the Rock universe circa 1970’s is the addition of some simple Stoner Metal costruction within the music itself. While it isn’t really enough to say that the album takes off in a whole new unique direction, it does add an interesting twist to the music that makes it a little more enjoyable then it would have been as a straight forward early Doom inspired album. “The Thorn” starts off traditional enough, but the basic guitar chord compositions and progressions utilized shortly after the song begins is enough to make the song stand out just a little more. The vocals suit the music well enough, retaining the same simplistic sound the music has through the album, but the only difference is that the music here is catchy, whereas the vocals are meerly suiting and don’t really offer anything much else other then that. The style is a somewhat louder sun performance that one would expect from a Stoner Metal release, but a little more on the nasal side, and sometimes doesn’t really offer much as far as the pitch goes, though there are moments you can hear a slight difference in tones, and even a little extra force behind the vocals, as if the vocalist were having some fun with it at that specific moment, such as at the end of the song “Tards On Shards”, or more forceful throughout certain moments of “Earth Sick Mind”.

But, while everything is simplistic and it may sound a little bland at time, it’s really where the album shines. Though the vocals may not offer anything too spectacular to the album, and wind up actually be a bit pushed back in the mix and often can be hard to understand due to the volume, or as if the lines performed were being stumbled upon by in a rehearsed manner, the music here has some great diversity, and manages to keep a catchy sound throughout each track without being too complex. “Scottstober”, for example, is a very simple song that, starts off a little boring, but it’s only to build the song up. When the track kicks in, there’s some real bite to the music without really picking up into a faster pace or getting too aggressively heavy, eventually branching off once again into a more distorted sounding slower style for a bridge, varying between the two styles as the song continues.

But, with this simpler song composition, the album does become more accessable to more listeners, and have a somewhat more unique sound then just a straight forward music style, but the problem is that there is nothing all that spectacular about the release. Musically, Earth Sick Mind becomes a bit repetitive, typically keeping the same pace with each track, and the guitars play chords that are similar to one another in performance, though sometimes not in pitch or tone. The structures to the songs are typically different, having a bridge in place of a verse here and there with vocals that, again, don’t necessarily change pitch enough and stick with a more constant approach that sometimes can even clash with the music, which is something that can be picked up during “Seeking the Dawn”. Once you hit the half way point, the songs begin to blend together with maybe a few key differences between them here and there, but in the end leave the listener feeling like they’ve heard it all before.

Atop that, there at times where the songs have a long track length, but feels like the band simply expanded on certain parts of the songs to make them longer, leaving these to feel drawn out. This isn’t necessarily restricted to the songs that surpass five minutes greatly, especially since “Tards On Shards” is actually a rather enjoyable song that doesn’t sound repetitive or drawn out. The title track “Earth Sick Mind” has moments of feeling drawn out as well, and even “Dogwhistle” has a few moments where it seems like one or two additional bars were added to the guitars then needed to be. “Pulverizer” stands out greatly on this album due to it’s much slower nature, as well as layered vocal approach during the chorus to give it a little more intensity, even having a somewhat altered some structure that kills the repetition that begins to build to the point on this release, and for the most part it works out great to create a song that stands out among the mix. However, it’s a song you clearly need to be in the right mood for. It’s not a bad song, but it clearly was composed in a Stoner Metal manner in the most literal sense before the song picks up and with a section that feels a bit tacked on.

Dusted Angel isn’t a bad band, as Earth Sick Mind shows some good potential for the group. The start of the album manages to get the album off to a good start, but the problem is that it starts to become boring rather quickly, especially on the first listen. The album lacks a good amount of really driving material, and becomes a bit repetitive over time that is only saved with some of the simple, yet catchy music. If the band were to add a little more depth to the music all around, then there’s no denying they could put out a very enjoyable album. However, with Earth Sick Mind, there really isn’t much to come back to after a couple spins.

01. The Thorn – 5:37
02. Seeking the Dawn – 4:58
03. Tards on Shards – 7:25
04. Scottstober – 7:08
05. Dogwhistle – 4:22
06. Pulverizer – 4:48
07. Earth Sick Mind – 5:44
Initial Pressing Score: 4/10

Dusted Angel (band)
Dusted Angel

Digital review copy of this release provided by Mankind Records.