Erase The Perception Of How You Think They Should Sound, ‘Cause This Is A Game Changer !
Have you ever heard Mr. funnyman — Bill Burr’s take on his very first Earthless experience? He goes into a monolog about how the San Diego power trio shred in rip-roaring fashion from the first note they play, to the very last remaining sound of feedback vibrating out of their amps. He’s spot on with his description.
Known for their twenty plus minute psych-rockin’ (mostly) instrumental jams, and their two to four song albums, Earthless has released a change-up with Black Heaven. It all started when they switched their label company, and jumped onboard with Nuclear Blast. Then kinda switching up writing style and sound. Don’t misunderstand, Earthless still sets fire to what most consider traditional song structure, and explode out of the gates soaring with rippin’ chords and progression. The difference is, Black Heaven embodies six songs, in which four of them Isaiah Mitchell serenades us with his soulful voice and lyrical charm. Black Heaven is a vintage power trio sound of classic rock and roll, with rev’d up Earthless style.
How is the sound?
This is an album that cannot be contained, nor can it contain itself. It might be difficult to say precisely how it sounds, and that’s in good part because it sounds like a rock and roll album on adrenalin overdrive. Black Heaven has the tone and authority of a summing up of all that Earthless has created up to this moment. Once upon a time, they may have been coined as an instrumentalist band of (mostly) long space rock jams by many listeners. Black Heaven certainly put to rest that gobbledygook idealism most people expect when they listen to an Earthless record. When Miles Davis changed the way we expected Jazz to sound (once again) with “fusion” — Earthless entered our stratosphere creating “fusion” records from the beginning.
Buckle your seatbelt, it’s time to go for a ride. As we all know, Isaiah Mitchell absolutely shreds the guitar with a Hendrixian flare; but now he’s capitalized on utilizing his soulful voice more. Along with Mario Rubalcaba (drums & percussion) and Mike Eginton (bass) (who absolutely shred themselves), the California trio structured Black Heaven’s songs with dominating agility. Yes, the songs are shorter than what Earthless is known for, and because of they are shorter in length of time, they’ve cultivated soul with quick jabs to the mouth. The album throbs with life and intensity — it manages to be both savage and inspiring. Earthless play music as if they were running only a step or two in front of a burning fuse, and it seems a good part of their intent is to have us realize, viscerally, that they can do whatever the hell they want, because like their name says: they’re not of this planet.
Every song on Black Heaven is uniquely independent from the others, however if you want to listen to back to back blistering tracks that will make you feel like you’re in an old-school 80’s Maxell Hi-Fidelity commercial, where the dude is sitting in a Le Corbusier chair getting blown away: then listen to “Black Heaven” (track 5) – into – “Sudden End” (track 6). It’s pure instrumental overdrive, into a ballad passion play. You’ll hear a nod to some of the greatest 70’s riffs and jams. At one point in the song “Black Heaven” I even think of Frank Z’s brilliant solos on “Willie the Pimp” from Zappa’s masterpiece Hot Rats.
I think we can all agree that all the musical greats who ever existed, continue to remind us it’s the journey not the destination that counts. The Earthless journey is a wild ride, and Black Heaven is another work of art. It’s another ambitious juggernaut, one with words, vintage structure, rippin’ jams, and freakout fuzz. It’s a nod to classic rock, and it’s a nod to all the great power trios who ever played. But Black Heaven is an Earthless album, and it crushes minds into oblivion with great fury.
Why is this album worth listening to?
- Black Heaven is a game changer: shorter song lengths, soulful energy, rippin’, shreddin’, and vocals!
In what situation you should listen to this album?
- On a rainy day of the heart, on some idle restless afternoon of the spirit, jump into your vehicle, start the engine, simultaneously have your left foot on the break, put the car in drive and right foot flooring the gas pedal while smoking out the tires, press play on Black Heaven, take your left foot off the break, and go!
Black Heaven (track 5) - into - Sudden End (track 6)
For Fans Of
Golden Void, Led Zeppelin, Karma to Burn, Ché, Colour Haze, and the album James Gang Rides Again by James Gang.
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