Monday 29 April 2013

Earthling - Dark Path (Album Review)

Album Type : Full Length
Date Released : 7/5/2013
Label : Forcefield Records
Dark Path, album tracklisting:
1. Dark Path 4:49
2. Resent 2:58
3. Losing Sight 6:40
4. Soldier of the Fortunate 4:37
5. Wilderness Throne 6:28
6. Pass into Beyond 6:55



Richmond, Virginia-based Forcefield Records confirms the pending Springtime release of the debut LP from local hellbrigade, EARTHLING.

Formed in early 2009 as a project between Harrisonburg natives Alan Fary (guitar/vocals) and Brently Hilliard (drums), following several member shifts solidified the EARTHLING lineup with Praveen Chhetri (guitar) and Jordan Brunk (bass). Having released a pair of three-song demos, a split 7” with the mighty Valkyrie, and having extensively inundated their local DIY music circuit, the band has crafted a crusty, blackened, thrashing hybrid of metal drawing influences from across the spectrum of extreme music.

Now on the heels of their split 7" with Valkyrie (a band who shares guitarist, Alan Fary), Earthling has finally captured their corrosive sound on record, and now prepares to unleash hell upon its own kind with their ominous Dark Path on CD, LP and digital May 7th, 2013. A diverse, premier debut offering which will undoubtedly appeal to fans of all things ripping, Dark Path is a coarse display of the band's terrorizing spirit; a ravenous force that has guided the group through countless shows, relentless demo recordings, and over five years of sheer sacrifice. Recorded by Garret Morris (Windhand, Cough, Parasytic, Bastard Sapling) and mastered by Mikey Allred (Inter Arma, Hellbender, Across Tundras), one can rest assured that this album is well versed in sonic mayhem. Earthling naturally teamed-up with seasoned local label, Forcefield Records, who now boasts the album as one of its most gripping releases, and EARTHLING as one of its most promising bands


Line up:

Alan Fary-Guitar&Vocals
Brently Hilliard-Drums
Praveen Chhetri-Guitar
Jordan Brunk-Bass


Earthling are a blue collar heavy metal band from Harrisonburg, Virginia. Equal parts doom and rock, with the odd splash of BM thrown in for good measure. It's a potent cocktail, and one that is sure to show you a good time with minimal repercussions. These are some classic sounds laid down in a righteous way, and their debut album is called 'Dark Path'. Strap on your best shit kickers and let's take a stroll...
First thing that you notice is the retro doom feel about the recording vibe, and the album-titled opener is absolute proof of this. Born in the hills and descended to terrorise the town folk, it's very Wino in it's early approach - which is surely a sign of quality to any doom riff fiend. It certainly is to this one. The curveball however is the Black Metal drumming - it's never out of place though, and it never feels unorthodox. The band intersperses it with some nifty and traditional metal solos, and there's even some thrash elements on display. All of this is very pleasing to the ears.
'Losing Sight' is a rager that had me nodding along from the get-go with stellar, hyperspeed guitar work and ominous, almost occult vocal stylistics. Very dark, and very menacing. There is a chunky breakdown part midway through that compels you to bang your skull, and a solo so morose it should probably be relocated to the nearest graveyard post-haste, as it's starting to stink up the joint and the neighbours might begin to ask some uncomfortable questions. Glorious stuff.
Another sumptuous track here  is 'Soldier of the Fortunate' with it's classic metal feel. The riffs are top notch and never relent, the solos land like warheads and the drums are blistering. More of the same, please.
My top cut award however goes to 'Wilderness Throne'. It doesn't start how it means to continue, and while I am a fan of 99% of things fast and lethal, I would place myself firmly within the battle camp of the obesely slow and the morbidly heavy most of the time. And it's when this track drops to the depths that it really lands home. Purest doom, black as the driven ash. Images of sacred smoke dancing through the air are conjured up to such a degree that you can almost smell it, almost taste it. The end of the track is so heavy in a classic, soulful way. It doesn't need volume to necessarily speak volumes. Pure bliss.
Earthling will make you want to chug beer and throw up horns in every sense. These are some tasty backwoods barnburners that have been submitted to tape, dark in form and nature yet uplifting. Crank them loud and proud.
Words by : Matt Fitton

As always show your support to the band. You can buy the record here from 7/5/2013. Thanks to EarSplit for the hook up as ever.