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Earth: Primitive and Deadly

It's a little intimidating to write about a band like Earth. What can I possibly say that will interest their long-term fans, let alone those who may be discovering them for the first time? My other problem is that I've never written about Earth before—ever. Normally that wouldn't be much of a problem. I like the variety of reviewing lots of lots of new bands, new styles, and new music. But this is something more challenging—a new release from a classic band, the kind that has legions of devoted fans. For those who don't know, this is the band's tenth album; it's also the first to include vocals (performed here by guest vocalists Mark Lanagan and Rabia Shaheen Qazi). For those who are anxious about this development, don't worry. The vocals sound great. They generally don't distract from the music; instead, they weave in and out in rather convincing ways. Listen to "From the Zodiacal Light" as an example of what I mean.

As for the music broadly, it's consistently haunting, compelling, and meditative, always allowing plenty of space between notes and ideas, just the sort of stuff that makes this music so fascinating. All the while, things build toward a sound that is just slightly more rock-oriented than what the band has done in the past. The shift, however, is subtle, never abrupt or heavy-handed, just a slight wrinkle in the sound of a band that has been doing terrific things for a long time.

The first and last tracks were my favorites: "Torn By the Fox of the Crescent Moon" and "Badgers Bane." The stuff in the middle, as with good chocolates, is pretty good, too.

Track Listing:
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
6. Badgers Bane

Added: December 10th 2014
Reviewer: Carl Sederholm
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 2056
Language: english

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