Earth And Pillars - Earth I

4 songs
52:15 minutes
***** ***


According to their record label, Earth And Pillars are a brand new atmospheric black metal band from an unspecified town in Italy. Up until a month before their debut album Earth I, no one knew about the trio’s existence, and even now it is hard to come by reliable information. The three musicians have one letter names, with Z being the busiest one in charge of vocals, guitars and keyboards, while I is playing the bass guitar and F programming the drums. So this is not your typical metal band line-up, and therefore you shouldn’t expect typical black metal music.

These last few years, the black metal genre has known the birth of many subgenres, from depressive black metal over post black metal to atmospheric black metal. The latter genre is the one most suitable for Earth And Pillars. The shrill guitars from their parent genre are still present, but are mixed in this case with the ambient atmospheres and layered walls of sound from the post rock genre. Earth I comes with only four tracks, and it makes sense to consider the six minute opener Earth as some kind of intro, as it is a very laid back and moody track that is only preparing the ground for the onslaught that is to come with the three following, aquatically themed epic pieces. Rivers, Lakes and Tides are all between twelve and seventeen minutes long, allowing this new Italian band to really build incredible tension by adding layer upon layer of guitar tornadoes until the listener is finally overwhelmed with an unstoppable force that combines the pure essence of post rock with the violent force of black metal.

Not everything is yet perfect on Earth I, but maybe that is why we should be looking forward to an Earth II. The production is maybe a little on the muddy side, with so many things happening at once that it is hard to discern between the different movements. You would hardly guess that the drums are not played by a person but programmed on a computer, but that is because the rhythm section is somehow drowning in the overpowering guitars, as if Nadja’s Aidan Baker had decided to play a black metal song. The different evolutions of black metal are right now still being interesting, but one should gradually become aware that even these new directions are not allowed to stagnate. I have high hopes for Earth And Pillars that they can easily improve on this already quite intriguing debut album. Until it is time for a follow-up, I suggest you dive headfirst into the sonic onslaught that has been offered on Earth I.

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