UNDIGESTED #5: EARTH—Angels of Darkness, Demons of Light II

Welcome back to another installment of UNDIGESTED, wherein I listen to an album for the first time and share my [pretty much] unedited thoughts while it plays.

Today I’m checking out the new Earth album Angels of Darkness, Demons of Light II (full stream here, listen along!). I kinda dug the first one, but I didn’t get super into it. The glass onion is good to go now, however, so let’s see how this turns out!

Sigil of Brass

I don’t know what a “sigil” is at all, but there’s a nice bell-like tone in the guitar. Sure sounds like Earth. Just that guitar, though, and only 3 minutes. really? That felt like 1:30, tops.

His Teeth Did Brightly Shine

This is gonna sound like total heresy, and my friend Chris might stab me in my sleep, but Earth seems like they’ve been rehashing the same idea since HEX. I know Dylan Carlson was dying and all during the making of the first AoD,DoL, but that didn’t make the music more interesting. I want the music to take me other places. HEX absolutely transported the listener to a ghost town and it was (and remains) magnificent. Right now I just kind of feel like I’m on the train going sorta near that ghost town, but I really only know that because there’s a big billboard we passed a few minutes back that says, “Ghost Town Nearby”. It’s the aural equivalent of the SOUTH OF THE BORDER signs along I-95. That’s a little harsh, okay.

I really am trying to listen to this and judge it on its own merits, but they’re not giving me much to work with. Today at work one of the editors was talking about something he learned from the author Ben Marcus in a writing class, and that is when you’re writing, don’t try to elicit the reader’s sympathy too early in your piece. Everything will fall flat afterwards because no tension has the chance to build. HEX built tension (and was a bit left field as far as comebacks go, which lent its own aura to the work) but this whole albums-long project hasn’t really earned its own sympathy, it’s still milking it from a while back. (If you by now recognize that I haven’t mentioned Bees Made Honey in the Lion’s Skull it’s because I’ve never listened to it, though I’ve meant to for some time now.)

Waltz (A Multiplicity of Doors)

Ah, there are drums on this one. This one feels a lot like the last one, only this one has drums. I think Adrienne Davies is a pretty sloppy drummer and I guess people are cool with that. She’s tighter here, not that she has to do much. The percussion was the one negative about HEX that I’ve never really gotten over and it still bugs me a bit.

At this point in my life, I’m fine with the fact that I’ve never seen Earth live. I definitely don’t need to see/hear this live as I’m pretty positive I’d start to nod off.

As a plus this might be a good set of albums to write along to, my mind is wandering enough that I’m having difficulty focusing to what I’m doing here. I’m about 5 minutes into this 13-minute song and I stopped caring a couple minutes ago.

Looking over at the play numbers on the livestream (hopefully you’re listening along, as I’m doing this is in real time), I’m reminded of how there is always a linear dropoff on these things. So far 16,000+ people started listening, just over half (9,000+) kept going through the second track and a little over 3,000 made it all the way through.

I just noticed a thumbtack stuck in my ceiling.

I hope when I get old (in, like ten years) I’m not making music this lethargic. This is extreme lethargy terror. God, this song is fucking waaaaaay too long. My attention span isn’t so great and I’m awesome at ignoring things, but I think I’m just over this band. Carlson’s been an innovator twice over with this outfit, I need him to at least try for a third. This is soundtrack territory. I don’t need several albums that sound like this. Plodding, plodding, plodding along

The Corascene Dog

And I didn’t even realize the track changed about a minute ago. Well, I did, but most of my brain apparently cared so little that I forgot to acknowledge it. The same thing is happening and, frankly, I would have joined the other 10,000+ people who went and did something else. I don’t have anything else to do until I go play SETTLERS OF CATAN in an hour. That’s a great boardgame if you haven’t played it.

Just discussed with Davin (my roommate) the possibility of returning the new mop I just bought. When you carry a mop on the subway it feels weird, but also cool because it’s not too different from holding a wizard staff or oversize walking stick like THE WIZARD OF CLEAN. We’re gonna keep it. The new mop.

Oh, I should look up what “corascene” and “sigil” both mean.

The Rakehell

Well that song ended while searching for “corascene” and all I get is a reference to alchemy in King Lear and some other “hermetic” knowledge that also references “the bitch of Armenia”. I should re-read that now, since that all sounds loony and I don’t recall such a reference at all.

This song is the most interesting so far! There’s a pulse reminiscent of some slow part of Pink Floyd’s “Echoes” that I can’t quite place.

Been checking my email, got a great thread going about the new Helms Alee video for “8/16” that’s all sendups to BEAVIS & BUTTHEAD and early ‘90s music videos. I stopped caring about this song, too. Even though it started off with some oomph, it fell right back into lethargio territory. SO BLAND. I don’t even get how this would be fun to play for this long.

Well, I found “sigil” and it’s also a magic word for a seal (emblem, not the animal). So, when you get right down to it, these guys were all thinking about magic stuff and made this mostly boring rehash of the previous album which was a rehash of a previous album. Meh. I guess I’m glad I heard it because now I have this to post on my blog which I’ve ignored for about three weeks. I can feel “productive” now and go play games with my friends. I’m kinda hungry now, too. Great timing, because this album is now over. YAY.

Postscript: I didn’t mention the album art by Stacey Rozich is pretty damn cool, it’s too bad that it’s way more impressive than anything on the actual album. Oh well.

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