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Pentastar - 92%

Azathoth500, April 15th, 2006

If you're a fan of the Earth we all know and love, that is, Special Low-Frequency Earth, you might be disappointed by this album. Gone are the minimalistic drone riffs and earth-shattering low end. The songs are shorter and faster by Earth 2 standards, but it's not quite as bizarre or out there as 1990 or Extra-Capsular Extraction. But the truth is, behind those two extra guitarists, drummer, and organ player, it's still the same old Earth.

Where Dylan Carlson began by inverting and insanely downtuning those first three chords, he moved on to draw from the same well as those primordial metalheads, Black Sabbath. The same bizarre song titles with barely an explanation can be found here, except now we benefit from an actual full set of lyrics and a whopping three (!) riffs on High Command (those lyrics don't clear much up, though).

Imagine 10 1990 (or Sunn Amps and Smashed Guitars) more closely resembling traditional music. On Pentastar we find repetitive heavy metal riffs (when there is guitar to be found) and the occasional extended guitar lead. But I dare say that even this is more repetitive than their drone efforts at times: Sonar and Depth Charge consists almost entirely of two piano chords struck one after another for seven minutes (sounds like a great track to fall asleep to, by the way). Nonetheless, the more "traditional" songs in combination with the traditional Earth spirit make the whole thing that much more enjoyable.

Favorites: Tallahassee, Coda Maestoso in F (Flat) Minor, Sonar and Depth Charge