Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Earth Drive- Helix Nebula (Raging Planet AS/RP314)

 Earth Drive are a band I have yet to see in Portugal but this is their new album out in March on Raging Planet, a label that seems to release a lot of the cool bands in Portugal.  Earth Drive had their first release back in 2012 so they are not a new band. They have produced two full lengths and two EPs in this time. I have only heard the Planet Mantra EP (2015) and this new one. The band is a four piece with a female singer.  This album features about half instrumentals and half songs with vocals. The opening track Cosmic Eye sets the tone with a short noisy piece that leads straight into the title track with a nice guitar but he is soon sent to the back when the drums (far too loud) and bass totally dominate. The voice is nicely placed but also quite loud so the guitar sounds like it is in another room. Nice moody track. Holy Drone is the intro to Spectra and a great intro. Really sets the mood nicely.  Reminds me a bit of TOOL but not as complex and no guitar solos. The track is quite spacey and the way Sara softly sings is really nice. Axial View starts with a really nice guitar but it is soon nearly lost in the mix in one of the more intense tracks on the album and this one contains a short guitar solo at the end. Dharma Throne starts with a heavy bass line and sort of doomy feel. This is a bit faster in pace and the guitar line is great but low in the mix.  Some spacey sounds are mixed in before the vocals start at about 2mins.  Fantastic voice on this track and it gets really spacey at the end, where there is this sort of flangy spaced out like voice, almost like throat singing that leads directly into Nagarjuna. The voice starts mixed quite in the back on this 1 ½ min song. Anulom Vilom keeps the mood pretty dark on another short interlude track that leads into the heavy, Science of Pranayama. The vocal starts soft and fits with the sort of mystical vibe. Deep Amazon features guest guitarist Mario Ayres on this slow starting spacey drifting track.  I really like the acoustic slide. A really nice track and something totally different. Space God is quite a lot like some of the other tracks. Phantalien is a slow and spacey outro to the record.  I quite enjoyed the record but
my main beef is that the drums are mixed too dominant in the mix (extremely noticeable in the car). It really drags the power out of this great music.

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