Review: Seismic drone and progressive rock specialists Earth return with their first studio album in some five years, It's both "Datura's Crimson Veils" and "She Rides An Air Of Malevolence" that, as would be hoped for on an Earth album, goes the distance in reminding us just how brooding and journeysome an extended instrumental with them can be. With "Descending Belladonna" stemming from a live project of soundtrack work too, the album itself is full of cinematic quality. Break downs, vamps and progressions add all manner of drama to compositions in tracks like "An Unnatural Carousel" and "The Mandrake's Hymn", with the LP overall delivering the very the best in monolithic basslines, crashing Zildjian cymbals and distorted guitars of epic rock and refrained minimalism.
The Hungry Ghosts/We Live In An Old Chaos Of The Sun (20:34)
The Silence Of Animals/The Truth Is, It Wanted To Cave In (22:50)
Review: Set as a soundtrack to a series of choreographed performances from the Iceland Dance Company, "Variations On Darkness" may arguably act as a counterpart to separate Record Store Day exclusive "22 Lunar Halo". This release is a culmination of various moments of Sigur Ros' career awashed with discordant, penetrating soundscapes across the two epics, "The Hungry Ghosts/We Live In An Old Chaos Of The Sun" and "The Silence Of Animals/The Truth Is, It Wanted To Cave In". Our pick is the latter which is something of an intoxicating build-up, brought together by haphazard, glitchy samples that may even cross the IDM territory, before concluding with a suitably grandiose ending to an epic trip. A tough listen, for sure, but all the more rewarding.