Sunday, 30 June 2013

The Earls of Mars - The Skies Are Falling (2012) | 85%

I discovered this band thanks to Orange Goblin, they brought this new project with them to tour the UK, the excellent Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell was also on the bill. I added the band to the Archives and here I am, reviewing their excellent first demo. Formed in 2011, not much is known about the lineup except that it's led by Harry Armstrong who's also in The Winchester Club and End of Level Boss and like all his projects, it's pretty impressive stuff.

This three songs demo is quite weird, mixing progressive & symphonic rock with doom metal, psychedelic rock and even stoner. The album starts with ''Cornelius Itchybah'', almost seven minutes, the track is showcasing everything the band can do. The ominous keys and piano are opening the song. It's an amazing crescendo with simple keys, distorted guitars and fun bass licks, almost similar to their countrymen of Porcupine Tree but that's before we can hear the powerful vocals of Armstrong. Romantic and somber like Albert Witchfinder, emotional and weird like Lee Dorrian, it's one of the most powerful vocal performance I heard in 2013. The song is progressing till an awesome heavy metal solo near the end and the keyboard always remain a main instrument. Infectious and groovy, the band shows the extent of their genre on the second shorter track, a bit more traditional than the two others and perhaps more metal. The instrumental approach of the band is more than pleasing, from loud bass to doomy guitars and horror movies keys, the identity of the band is already complete after one demo and that's impressive. It's uplifting music full of atmospheres and truly original. I can't really pinpoint an overshadowing influence. Their sound is fresh and captivating and I cannot wait to hear the full album that they're recording right now.

Their spacey and trippy atmosphere fits very well with the dark doom metal. It's out of this world but so satisfying, the atmosphere is joyfully macabre just like the album art, I have no idea what it's representing but eh, there's a devil licking a baby ! It's fucked up but if you like adventurous music, it's gonna be a fourteen minutes well invested. They're a special band and you'll have to take my word and check them out! The demo is a free download on their bandcamp so you have no reasons to be lazy

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