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Implodes: Black Earth [Album Review]


Brutal insanity might be less dark than Black Earth by Implodes. Blending drone with hints of fuzz and immense, everlasting soundscapes, Implodes’ new album is a mysterious, intriguing work of art. It’s one thing to listen to Black Earth through speakers – it only gets better when imbibed through headphones. And I’d place a fair bet on it being something astonishing to take in live.

“White Window”, oddly enough, would seem to fit in the soundtrack of Gaspar Noé’s epic psychedelic masterpiece Enter The Void. But wouldn’t necessarily consider Implodes to be psychedelic; in a way it has traits conducive to the genre, but its scope is far beyond being so limited. Noise. Experimental. Drone. They all fit, but, again, are too limiting. The soundscapes have the ability to encompass universes, stretch beyond the limits once thought capable.

It’s rare for a band to go from calming to terrifying in the space of a millisecond, but Implodes achieves this again and again on Black Earth. “Screech Owl” and “Oxblood” both start out on a pleasant note and ultimately come to dominate with dark, swirling, fuzzed out guitars that drone hauntingly from some unknown location, masked by blackness.

The most notable, however, are “Marker” and “Meadowslands”. These two feature vocals drowned in echoing reverb backed by colossal guitars and the occasional erratic fuzzed-out guitar freak out. But even their mellow tunes hold substantial weight. “Song for Fucking Damon II (Trap Door)” and closing track “Hands On The Rail” have laid back vocals and lighter melodies despite the intense volume. What never fails to astound is Implodes’ experimental ability, and it shines through here (although I feel a bit odd associating the word “shine” with this band).

Put on headphones, crank up Black Earth, close your eyes and watch the nightmare that your subconscious produces on the backs of your eyelids. It will be terrifying and brilliant. Just be sure to hold your sanity close. Very impressive.

Look for Black Earth later this month on Kranky Records.

Download: “Marker” by Implodes


Kranky Records [CD, 2011]

1. Open The Door
2. Marker
3. White Window
4. Screech Owl
5. Oxblood
6. Meadowslands
7. Wendy
8. Experimental Report
9. Song for Fucking Damon II (Trap Door)
10. Down Time
11. Hands On The Rail

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