"A Bureaucratic Desire for Extra-Capsular Extraction"

by Earthdog

What dawned on me, like a bolt of lightning while listening to Earth's "A Bureaucratic Desire for Extra Capsular Extraction" is that this band has been together for 20 years. How time flies while you are droning out, I mean ...really. This album comes as a teaser for their new album titled "Angels of Darkness, Demons of Light I" due for release in February of 2011 but it has old + unreleased material and this made me drag out CD's I haven't listened to in years like "Pentastar: In the Style of Demons," their album from 1996. Earth are considered pioneers of droning doom but their fans live in different eras of the band. Some love the early stuff while others didn't really like the band till they released the "The Bees Made Honey in the Lion's Skull" in 2008. This is their 14th release if you include live albums and compilations but there is also 4 split album releases as well so they have been a very productive band in their 20 years together. Of course, there has been many line-up changes but that is to be expected with a band that has been around as long as Earth. The current line up consists of main-man Dylan Carlson - Guitars, Don McGreevy - Bass, Steve Moore - Various instruments and Adrienne Davies on Drums.

This album has material from the first Earth recordings "Extra-Capsular Extraction" and "Sunn Amps and Smashed Guitars Live" and it has been remastered by Mell Dettmer. It should be noted some tracks come from the 2001 reissue of "Sunn Amps and Smashed Guitars Live" so if you have heard the original version of that album, you wouldn't have heard some of this album before. The band from my home of Washington state were never really innovators of music but they were one of the pioneers of the drone doom genre and these recordings drive home that fact even more. Listening to some of these tracks for the first time in many years made me think about how ahead of their time they were in many ways but also how there are so many bands now doing nothing but recycling what this band did 15 to 20 years ago. The two part "A Bureaucratic Desire for Revenge" was a landmark recording for its time and it sounds even more "relevant" now in light of a lot of music that has been released in the last few years. Kelly Canary of Dickless added vocals to "A Bureaucratic Desire for Revenge, Part 2," and vocals are a rare occurence in this mainly instrumental act. While on "Divine and Bright," someone called Kurt Cobain does some vocals and I believe this tune was a rare demo recording until now.

The centerpiece to this compilation is the 18 minute "Ouroboros Is Broken," a track you either love or makes you want to climb the wall. Elsewhere you get the incredible riffing of "Geometry of Murder" which is perhaps one of the band's most traditional pieces of doom-work especially in the Sabbathian guitar department. Also included is "German Dental Work" and "Dissolution 1" and fans of the band should know about these tracks by now. As a compilation, its only real function is as an introduction piece for newbies as long-time fans will know what to expect but it is great to go back and re-visit these tracks once again. It is true that elements of this sound dated especially the drum-machine ...and hasn't that torture device improved over the years? If you dig this kind of doom, you most likely already dig Earth, if not this won't make you rush out and become a drone-head but the main effect this had on me was to get real excited about their 2011 album. Bring it on!................8/10