Album Review: Earth – Angels Of Darkness, Demons Of Light II [9 out of 10]

By Andrew Bansal

After releasing “Angels Of Darkness, Demons Of Light I” last year, Seattle-based experimental drone doom veterans Earth are ready to release the second half of the double album. The first half proved to be a highly captivating 60 minutes of music, specially upon hearing the band perform some of it live. So I was eager to find out how this second part compares to it, whether the band has done anything different musically, and how the two are related.

“Sigil Of Brass” sets the album off to a very melodic and guitar-oriented start, and even though there are traces of percussion, cello and bass, Dylan Carlson’s guitar is easily the most prominent instrument you’ll hear on this 3-and-half-minute long opening track. His guitar sound is extremely pure, and you can hear each and every note resonate till it completely fades away. This is what I love most about Earth’s music, and I’m delighted to see it getting highlighted so beautifully on this track.

“His Teeth Did Brightly Shine” has a similar type of melody but the strong presence of the cello and bass in the rhythm section gives it the ancient folk sort of flavor that was very evident in the first album. This melody-meets-drone track is the perfect example of how the two albums are related musically, and what ties them together.

“Waltz (A Multiplicity Of Doors)” is very similar to songs like “Old Black” and “Father Midnight” from the first half, and sounds very much like a continuation of those tracks. This one is hugely drone-oriented, and I think it’s is the most drawn out and depressing track out of all 10 songs on the two albums put together. It’s amazingly emotional and expressive, and I would say it’s my favorite tune at this point.

The cello takes more of the foreground in “The Corascene Dog”, which gives it a somewhat different feel as compared to anything else on here. But the guitar sound really picks up in the second half of the song, combining with the cello to create a powerful piece of music. “The Rakehell” though is perhaps the most improvisational track on this album. It has more layers to it, and goes through a few different passages before gradually bringing the album to a gradual halt.

I’m simply amazed when I think of the fact that this album was recorded in the same session during which the first part was done, because the two sound largely different from each other. Part 2 is definitely more melodic, multi-layered and experimental, but is sufficiently connected to the first part. I have to commend the group for the arrangement of tracks on each album, because the five tracks on Part 2 go very well with each other, and the same can be said about those on part 1.

On the whole, “Angels Of Darkness, Demons Of Light II” is a fantastic follow-up to its predecessor, and complements it brilliantly. Dylan Carlson and his group have once again proved themselves as musicians of class and prowess, and for fans of doom and experimental music, this is a truly worthwhile release.

Rating: 9/10

US Release Date: February 14th 2012
Label: Southern Lord Recordings

Track Listing:
1. Sigil Of Brass
2. His Teeth Did Brightly Shine
3. Walz (A Multiplicity Of Doors)
4. The Corascene Dog
5. The Rakehell