Earth – Earth 2 (Sub Pop) 1993


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Every genre has a defining album. The sort of record that every band that followed owed allegience to. Earth 2 in the doom/sludge world is not merely worshipped but holds the malevolent DNA spliced by SunnO)))), Melvins and Boris. Post- Punk had Pink Flag, Shoegazing had Nowhere, New Wave had Parrallel Lines and Doom has Earth 2. I listened to Melvins, SunnO)))) and Boris before I had ever heard Earth 2 and perhaps I did things in the wrong order because Earth 2, to me, just sounds ……. well ……. OK. I mean kudos and all that to Earth for defining a genre but Earth 2 is a bit like early Throbbing Gristle, ground breaking in it’s day but it just hasn’t aged very well. My principal complaint is the production. It’s fucking awful.

For those of you who don’t know, Doom is a genre of metal, which to rip off another review, is “Black Sabbath played very slowly”. Oh and without vocals or drums or any resemblance to their head banging brethren. The huge guitar riffs that define Doom are monstrous. They obliterate all before them before being consumed themselves by the next riff. Its a big sludgy, claustrophobic noise where the idea of “song” is neither present nor relevant. Earth 2 does all of these things really well and listening to this record casts records by SunnO)))) in a totally new light. But to really get the full effect of the Doom sound the production has to be right and on this it is simply not. The recording feels furry and the effect, as a result, blunted. It misses the shear, unrelenting power of those that came after but as the seed that starts one of my favourite genres, Earth 2 is an interesting listen.

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One Response to “Earth – Earth 2 (Sub Pop) 1993”

  1. Really? Maybe it’s because I’ve been listening to a vinyl copy for years and the CD is pressed incorrectly, but this is the most oppressive record I own. Yes, Sunn O)) is both deeper and blacker, but I can quantify this: They are deep and black human beings mining deep and black spaces, pulling tiny mutated animals from the muck and crushing them with metal fists!

    But on the back cover of Earth 2, you see the two dudes who you smoked weed with in high school. And they are creating demented transcendence with guitars! What happened to them in the dark haze, one fateful night? What terrible creature is boring through them from the inside?

    I know where Sunn’s evil comes from. I do not know where Earth’s comes from. This is frightening. This is compelling.

    Then again I am a guy who is willing to eternally put up with what other people see as terrible production. See: my love for black metal.

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