EARTH — Earth 2: Special Low Frequency Version (review)

EARTH — Earth 2: Special Low Frequency Version album cover Album · 1993 · Drone Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
3.5/5 ·
siLLy puPPy
One of the benefits of grunge toppling the ever stagnating dominance of the glam pop metal scene was that formerly totally underground strains of music suddenly found an audience. Heavily influenced by The Melvins, the Olympia, WA based group EARTH released their debut album in 1993 and created some of the very first ambient metal that would pretty much kick off a whole new subgenre called drone metal. EARTH's music totally bucked the trend for metal to be heavier and faster with ever more complex compositions and impossibly fast solos. EARTH took the most extreme opposite approach and created a type of music that metalheads and punk rockers might listen to while they do yoga or soak in a hot tub or just want to chill out without leaving their favorite distorted music far behind.

This is an album that I find intriguing. The distortion is a satisfying way cool fuzz that feels as if the shadow of the underworld has cast itself in the light and and an impending dread that is simultaneously ominous and relaxing lurks about on every repetitiously decelerated musical motif. I find myself liking this on rare occasion but it is certainly a rare listen that demands the right mood. My main complaint is that if you want to endure the entire album it is quite lengthy with a running time of over 73 minutes. Of course, there is no law that dictates you must absolutely listen to the entire album. I find this kind of ambient metal most effective as a backdrop to other activities but it is entertaining in its own right, however as a nascent stage of drone metal I find EARTH 2: SPECIAL LOW FREQUENCY VERSION lacks enough diverse elements to keep me coming back to it on a regular basis. It is influential for sure but when the mood strikes to listen to this type of music I prefer the later albums by Sunn O))) or Boris. Still though, a must for aficionados of cutting edge ideas in the constant diversifying world of metal music.
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