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Excellent And Sadly Underappreciated - 94%

ChrisDawg88, June 15th, 2006

Its a damn shame how little recognition this album gets in comparison to its predecessor, the monunmental album Earth 2. While Earth 2 pretty much established drone doom as a subgenre and is still cited by many as the only worthwhile album Earth released, Phase 3: Thrones And Dominions is proof that Dylan Carlson is more than a one-trick pony (this would be proved again in 2005 when Earth returned with the fantastic Hex: Or Printing In The Infernal Method).

Phase 3 can be seen as the logical evolution of the extreme simplicity and heavieness introduced by Earth 2. The first several songs, while highly enjoyable, can't really be considered drone in the traditional sense, as the riffs are easily identifiable and played in a much more standard tempo, and the songs are fairly short. Dylan begins experimenting with the country-influenced licks that would come to be the main facet of his music (see Hex), and even sees fit to add some drumming to his music, in the interesting track "Site Specific Carniverous Occurance."

And now the album really delivers. "Phase 3: Agni Detonating Over The Thar Desert...", while seemingly unimaginative and unrewarding at face value, can be an extremely effective noise experiance, given the right mood and volume level. And then, the album highlight, "Thrones And Dominions". This song stands as probably my favorite Earth song ever, an astounding showcase of classic Earth drone interspersed with mocking country riffs and strange feedback whispers, all culminating in a huge storm of sound before collapsing in on itself. This song is worth the price of the album alone, and its reasonable length (albeit still a wopping 14 minutes) means that unlike the songs on Earth 2, you'll actually feel compelled to listen to it frequently.

Overall this album is a great combination of the unrelenting drone marathon of Earth 2 and the more conventional heavy fuzz rock sound of the dissapointing Pentastar: In The Style Of Demons. People intersted in Earth, and drone in general, should definately check out this excellent album.