Earth: Angels of Darkness, Demons of Light II

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Earth: Angels of Darkness, Demons of Light II
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Earth: Angels of Darkness, Demons of Light II
Doom Metal, Drone
Southern Lord Records
February 14th, 2012
Release length: 45:53
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Earth has definitely made an impressive mark among the fans of Doom Metal with their 2011 success Angels of Darkness, Demons of Light I. Of course, this wasn’t the band’s first effort, but given the reception and amount of press it received, in many eyes it was. Either way, it’s been roughly a year since that release, and for 2012 we find Earth unleashing Angels of Darkness, Demons of Light II on the masses. But, does this album that came out roughly one year after the first part have what it takes, or does it show signs of being rushed?

When it comes to Southern Lord Records, you can almost expect a raw and/or dirty tone to the music. Angels of Darkness, Demons of Light II doesn’t fail on this part of the quality. The audio itself ends up being pretty low due to how soft the music on this recording is, but overall it feels a little distant in the mix, but has a bit of a raw touch to it as well that helps further what atmospheres can be found in each of the five tracks. Of course, much of them seem to be rather similar from the concept of taking a general idea from the start of the release and building onto it.

“Sigil of Brass” kicks things off slow for its three and a half-minute lifespan. The soft, simple guitar chords slowly continue with a droning presence as more is added to it slowly. Some additional instruments come into play, such as cymbals played lightly to come in and out, as well as what sounds more like a cello adding some deeper tones to the music at random times. The guitar itself can also build up in speed a little, which introduces some off-key chords to the mix. This all comes to a close and welcomes in “His Teeth Did Brightly Shine,” which isn’t too far from the previous song outside a few additional notes played by the electric guitar, deeper chords that support them, and a more wild west atmosphere to the track. There really isn’t much more of a build up here, though as the song progresses we again are met with some out of key chords and additional rattling effects that best give off the atmosphere of a desolate desert, feeling into that western environment the song gives off.

That western touch to the music does feel like it is shaken loose, but really it’s only for a short amount of time. “Waltz (A Multiplicity of Doors)” genuinely does feel like you’re in a shady nightclub, or at the least a country bar from the old gold rush days. Images of patrons swaying slightly in unison to the trance-enducing droning material in the dimly lit building with heads hung low is a visual one might perceive from this track’s atmosphere. It backs away from some of the additional instruments of the last song, but continues to increase their presence throughout the track, such as the rattling that comes up towards the end of “His Teeth Did Brightly Shine,” and the drumming makes a bigger presence here with additional bass kicks that have a very deep thud and some higher, tighter snares. It’s an interesting foundation for the song, coming in at under thirteen and a half minutes. There are some moments where it feels as though the band is staying too long on certain aspects, but the track does eventually sprawl out into a more traditional song, and concludes on a better note.

There’s really no need to go into the last two tracks other than examine “The Rakehell” due to its length. The song itself starts off the strongest of all the tracks here, having a much thicker sound thanks to the stronger bass presence and more activity in the guitar chords that actually give it a slight funk. The atmosphere is a little lost from “His Teeth Did Brightly Shine” and “Waltz (A Multiplicity of Doors),” though it’s clear a similar foundation is being used. The drumming is one of the first instruments here to start building up, and it actually happens rather quickly this time. But, that’s about it. Other than including the additional rattling sound, there isn’t much else going on. But that’s fine considering how much stronger the music here is compared to the more open songs that started the album off that heavily relied both on atmosphere and the building of the music through additional instruments.

Overall though, Angels of Darkness, Demons of Light II is essentially what made the first one good, just not really handled as well. The atmosphere here does vary at times, but at the last two tracks it doesn’t seem to play as important a role. While this is all well and good with the addition of stronger, richer music, it all just doesn’t really have the same impact. The visuals are there, you have some softer music to unwind to or at least have for background music, but nothing really moves the listener, nor does the end of a song feel any stronger than how you started out with, even though it definitely does sound a lot better in comparison. It makes for a good follow-up release, but in the end Earth does leave the album in a way that feels slightly rushed, and with the music quality not really being too engrossing after the first two songs, you can’t help but just wish you were listening to Angels of Darkness, Demons of Light I instead.

01. Sigil of Brass – 3:32
02. His Teeth Did Brightly Shine – 9:00
03. Multiplicity of Doors – 13:04
04. The Corascene Dog – 8:26
05. The Rakehell – 11:51
Overall Score: 7/10

Earth (band)
Earth

Digital review copy of this release provided by Southern Lord Records via Earsplit PR.