Angels of Darkness, Demons of Light II - Earth and Dylan Carlson
Dylan Carlson’s band, Earth, have just released their 2012 album, Angels of Darkness, Demons of Light II. Following on from Angels of Darkness, Demons of Light I, this album continues in the same vein.
Gone are the hardcore drones of their early albums such as Earth 2, or even the more commercial rock riffs such as ‘Tallahassee’ or ‘Divine and Bright’, the latter of which featured none other than Dylan Carlson’s friend Kurt Cobain on it.
But back to ‘Angels of Darkness, Demons of Light II’; when part I was released, Carlson stated in several interviews that the first part was a more structured album, with more songs planned. This album, taken from the same sessions, sees Earth in more freeform mode, allowing the music to take them somewhere unknown.
In many ways, the new sound of Earth is perhaps a reflection of a cleaner Dylan Carlson, free of his addiction and other problems, there is a sense of lightness about the music, yet in a haunting and poetic way. Using the poetry metaphor, the music is not so much of a stroll through a warm spring meadow as it is through a quiet desolate wood or perhaps a barren bone filled dessert. Whilst on a minute to minute level, you may feel at one with nature and entirely safe; there is still a slightly disturbing feeling of what might be yet to come.
Advancing the new Earth sound further, Carlson has recruited Lori Goldston on Cello. Perhaps best known for her work on Nirvana’s ‘Unplugged’ album, Goldston adds to the empty eeriness of the music.
For older fans of Earth, this album may not fulfil their hopes and dreams of another loud and distorted drone doom sound, but Angels of Darkness, Demons of Light II continues the advance of the group who have continued to explore and challenge and will undoubtedly win new fans as old fans fall away. However, older fans would do well to listen to this album as their much loved heavy melody sound is still there in Dylan Carlson’s guitar work.
This meditative album is perhaps best listened to alone, with the time to allow your mind to travel with the music, through desert landscapes and swampy sunrises.