Earth And Pillars - Earth II review



Reviewer:
5.0

7 users:
7.29
Band: Earth And Pillars
Album: Earth II
Release date: October 2019


01. Becoming
02. Falling
03. Ascending
04. Howling


Some bands openly defy the confines imposed on them by the limits of their genre's boundaries. Others act as an unfortunate representation of those boundaries.

Earth And Pillars, an Italian-based atmospheric black metal band of the Cascadian variety, borrow heavily from a sound that was already a heavily borrowed sound, and they've seemingly made it their mission to further saturate a scene that has been sorely lacking a rejuvenating source of fresh content since about the time it started booming.

Earth II follows the same path as its predecessors: a full catalog of overly dissonant, subtly synth-buoyed meandering riffs that drone on endlessly in hopes of capturing the attention of anyone willing to pay it any mind. Not only does it fail to add anything new to the already tired genre, it actually mimics previous works of higher quality unashamedly, notably pulling stylistic elements that, again, were already overtly influenced by decades-prior pioneers, by the likes of Alda, Falls Of Rauros, Fen -- you name it. It's the kind of release you think would have been better received had it been unleashed a good decade earlier, because it's all been done before, and better.

Even overlooking its unnecessary inclusion into the atmospheric black metal scene, the music itself is the biggest hindrance Earth And Pillars face in their efforts to tap into whatever it is they're looking to achieve. There is so little material to describe in this hour-long brick of an album that it becomes pointedly difficult to elaborate on the reasons for what makes it so easy to dismiss as something worth listening to. An abundance of simplistic tremolo riffs drone on repeatedly in order to make up most of each song's run time, with nauseating blastbeats flowing in the exact same pattern throughout its entirety. Rare instances of varied percussion -- namely some spastic cymbal crashes -- creep in to disrupt the relentless tonal direction that refuses to allow for any growth or experimentation outside of its comfort zones.

Another downfall of Earth II, much like every Earth And Pillars release, is the terrible mix. It could be considered a glitch in the process if not for its consistency, but the odd editing patterns are becoming definitive of this project's essence. The raspy growls are so convoluted and muffled they may as well not even appear on the album, strained beyond recognition compared to the bombastic acoustics and pummeling, echoing drums. It really emphasizes just how lacking this release is in regards to interesting content, as its unbearably self-restrictive songwriting makes for an amateurish process that isn't even given the breath it needs in regards to the production. Simply put, this is a lazily written 60 minute album, with about 15-20 minutes' worth of engaging content for its listeners to latch on to. There will be moments that diehard fans will be able to enjoy; but, frankly no one would be worse off if this album never saw the light of day. Its most impressive aspect is its derivative, vapid cover art -- perhaps an indicator or warning to onlookers as to what lies inside.


Rating breakdown
Performance: 5
Songwriting: 4
Originality: 3
Production: 5


 



Written on 08.12.2019 by Just another opinionated guy telling you what to listen to.


Comments

Comments: 5   Visited by: 60 users
08.12.2019 - 17:33
Alakazam
How do you define Cascadian?
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08.12.2019 - 17:43
Troy Killjoy
perfunctionist
Written by Alakazam on 08.12.2019 at 17:33

How do you define Cascadian?

It's a sub-style of atmospheric black metal "pioneered" by bands essentially watering down the black metal of pagan black metal and focusing on dissonance and reverb in the guitars with repetitive blastbeats to balance out the ambient elements. It's sort of like Gothenburg metal in that it's named after a region where similar sounding bands play in that style, but it's expanded beyond that area since -- all the way to Italy, for instance.
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I have no memory of this place.
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08.12.2019 - 19:24
Alakazam
Written by Troy Killjoy on 08.12.2019 at 17:43

It's a sub-style of atmospheric black metal "pioneered" by bands essentially watering down the black metal of pagan black metal and focusing on dissonance and reverb in the guitars with repetitive blastbeats to balance out the ambient elements. It's sort of like Gothenburg metal in that it's named after a region where similar sounding bands play in that style, but it's expanded beyond that area since -- all the way to Italy, for instance.

Ah, as a regional movement this is news since it seems to stem from Weakling then WITTR, I used to be obsessed in looking for more of the latters sound. Having heard the listed aforementioned but not taking much from them I can reate, just wonder what makes a distinction from a movement to being influencers and those inspired, as the root and stem from Hvis Lyset Bergtatt Oss.
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09.12.2019 - 10:45
No one
Kind of what I was expecting, thanks for putting yourself through it so I don't have to.
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09.12.2019 - 18:46
Troy Killjoy
perfunctionist
Written by No one on 09.12.2019 at 10:45

Kind of what I was expecting, thanks for putting yourself through it so I don't have to.

I would say it's my pleasure, but it really wasn't. Another one of those bands whose niche audience somehow keeps them going from one album to the next, without any desire to change or grow.
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I have no memory of this place.
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