The opening song for this despondent treat is like the unfolding of a questionably green powdered orange, the insides of Earth evoking a terrified awe when revealed.
An album which creeps up on you, there is a strong feeling that something awful and fantastical is about to happen. And true enough, after a teasingly long introduction the mystery of what kind of band Earth would become unveils. They influenced many other groups in the years after these fledging recordings were hammered out, some of whom I wish they hadn’t (Sun O))) I am looking at you) and others whom I didn’t even realise until listening to their strange back catalogue.
The aura and (yes I’m going to say it) the soul of Earth’s music was laid bare here for all to see, as many an inspired front man and guitarist did in the following years, once they had carved the music into our mental skins. The musical equivalent of a rowdy, alcoholic uncle who bought you your first special brew, many long haired, leather clad mosh-pit minions cut their teeth on Earth. However this album is symptomatic of a movie prequel as it is best understood by Earth’s later incarnations. It is not a prequel to a money spinning blockbuster, but to an almost religious formulation of metal music.
Fortunately this album is released with a fair dollop of hindsight. As it plays I see in my mind’s eye the tendrils of drug abuse and destruction that the music evoked. This hindsight makes the tracks both soulful yet disturbing and even though drone doom isn’t my normal cup of tea, these tracks offer a tangible discord to a hum drum day.
Review by Ruth Carlisle
Released through Southern Lord Records (2010)