What do you do with a record that invented an entire genre of music but which you don’t really want to sit through over and over? I don’t know.
As far as I know, this record invented the (sub?) genre drone metal, which has become much more popular in the 21st century than I think anyone could have imagined in 1993. To the best of my knowledge, there is nothing remotely like this in existence prior to this record.
What is it? It’s basically droning distorted guitars – ambient but metal, or metal but ambient. It is undoubtedly art and it is undoubtedly influential. It is also barely “music” in the conventional sense of the word. Without the Theater of Eternal Music and Brian Eno, it’s hard to imagine this music ever coming into existence.
My problem is twofold: Intellectually I know it’s historically important and influential but I cannot ever imagining a time when I would say to myself “You know what, I think I’m going to listen to that Earth record.” And the other problem: the 21st century drone metal I have heard is more interesting; there’s more dynamics for one. That’s not to say there are no dynamics here, but on the tracks where there is variation in volume, you need headphones to hear it.
This is too trailblazing to really criticize it but I can’t say that I’ll ever listen to it again.
- “Seven Angels” 15:38
- “Teeth of Lions Rule the Divine” 27:04
- “Like Gold and Faceted” 30:31
Look at those track times! That last one is basically just one noise for half an hour. I made a joke about that when talking about Neu! on the podcast: “At least they didn’t record a tone for 20 minutes.” These guys did!
- Dylan Carlson – guitar
- Dave Harwell – bass guitar
- Joe Burns – percussion on “Like Gold and Faceted”