Album Review: Earthless – Black Heaven

Earthless have released their latest studio album, ‘Black Heaven’, with a bit of a curveball grip. Whereas previous Earthless existed on a diet of instrumental space rock jams, now we see the band in an evolved form. The space-jam doom rock is still ever present, but it’s supplemented with something else. A fresh addition to the winning formula of Earthless.

We got ourselves a flavor of space-jam doom-rock like never before. Earthless takes two steps forward and zero steps back with their updated formula, a bigger focus on groove-driven musicality in line with the doom-rock vocal stylings laden within ‘Black Heaven’.

Earthless fans might be in for a bit of surprise when they kick on the album, the first track ‘Gifted By the Wind’ kicking off into a standardly written, yet exceptional, doom-rock that grooves on the back of the Isiah Mitchell’s vocal stylings. I understand Earthless fans are looking for something a little more ‘guttural’ and jammy, and I can assure you this album is packed full of that particular material. On the other hand, that material is supplemented with a fresh doom-rock style that expands Earthless’ identity.

After the strong, but standard opening track, you’ll find yourself immediately chomping into your favorite Earthless flavors through the track ‘End to End’. Immediately you’re gifted with that guttural, doom-metal drone that slams into ominous drum/guitar riffing. What really makes this track special is its ability to fuse the two styles of Earthless; classic, and the new sounds they offer with ‘Black Heaven’.

It’s interesting to see this new change; the typical doomy, space-jam finds elevation with the addition of the more focused songwriting. It allows context into what Earthless is special for, their doom-rock jimmy-jams. The jam-rock flows in and out of the groove-standards with such mastery that it brings both formulas to a new levels often unreached by many bands.

Earthless knows how to hit homeruns, and ‘Black Heaven’ is no different. Once you hit the third track ‘Electric Flame’ you’ll realize the talents Earthless has been hiding this whole time. The crazy, psyched-out jams are still present, both in the original doomy-jam form and the new groove-rock formula, which proves that Earthless is still as Earthless as ever.

Nothing has changed except the limits of which Earthless was bound within their instrumental space-rock identity. Don’t worry, that exact identity is still there, yet it’s grown and expanded in such a way that’s allowed Earthless to access a brand new plethora of musical ammunition.

The heart and soul of Earthless is as present and powerful as ever before. With the new evolutionary form the band has guided themselves towards you’ll find that Earthless is as Earthless as ever before.

Earthless is truer to themselves than ever with ‘Black Heaven’, a brand new introduction to one of the premier bands in metal. ‘Black Heaven’ is 100% for loyal, diehard Earthless fans while expanding the opportunity for new diehard Earthless fans to be born.

– by Ryan Falla

Rating: 8.5/10

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Record Label: Nuclear Blast
Release Date: March 16 2018

Track Listing:
1. Gifted by the Wind (6:29)
2. End to End (5:17)
3. Electric Flame (8:51)
4. Volt Rush (1:53)
5. Black Heaven (8:45)
6. Sudden End (8:27)

Total Duration: 39:42

Earthless links: website | facebook | twitter | instagram

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