Album review: Earth | Primitive and Deadly

The first Earth album to feature vocals in 18 years opens with one of the heaviest tracks they have done in years, Torn By The Fox Of The Crescent Moon. Don’t worry, they haven’t gone speed-metal, it still plods along like a very heavy version of The Cure at their darkest (Faith era, perhaps), or even The Sisters of Mercy anchored to Dylan Carlson’s fine riffing. Almost as good is Even Hell Has Its Heroes, where again the focus is on Carlson’s superb guitar playing.

So what of the vocal tracks? Mark Lanegan features on two of them, singing with his heaviest band for some time. The first of them, There Is A Serpent Coming is a slow, draggy boil of a track, and Lanegan sings the hell out of it, but somehow it doesn’t quite work, the song appears to become less than the sum of its parts. The snail-paced Rooks Across The Gates is an improvement, sounding a little like a slowed-down, stretched out Lanegan rocker. At times on this track, some of Carlson’s guitar work becomes sort of widescreen, entering almost ambient territory.

Rabia Shaheen Qazi of Rose Windows takes vocal duties on From The Zodiacal Light, and her vocals fit quite well with Dylan Carlson’s towering guitar work. It’s an interesting experiment, and certainly not out of place on this slow-burning, minor classic of an album.

Killian Laher

Tracklist:
1. Torn By The Fox Of The Crescent Moon
2. There Is A Serpent Coming
3. From The Zodiacal Light
4. Even Hell Has Its Heroes
5. Rooks Across The Gates

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