Full_earth Cloud_sculptors

Full Earth - Cloud Sculptors


Machines of incomprehensive size and age, molten into shape by the heat of the Earth’s core, now hovering in the empty sky and throwing monumental shadows over the yet uninhabitated tectonic plates. Fueled by cosmic radiation they move unstoppably through the unadorned sphere between the planets’s surface and the endless void of space. Their mission is enormous, scheduled for ages. The outcome is beautiful and one of the many crucial forces which enable the development of life: The creation of clouds.

That’s not official lore, but just one image the debut double album of Full Earth paints in my head. If you are - just like me or my fellow writer Simon in his review of Ilion - under the impression that French rocketmen Slift have surely build the biggest, loudest, most unsurmountable wall of Psycheledic Rock this year - better think again, because this Norwegian quintet at least operates in the same skyscraping architectonic heights.

Its foundation is a massive sediment of thick and fuzztastically sludgy Stoner Rock riffs and restlessly powering and whirling drums - at least that’s what you could conclude during the early phase of the twenty-one-minute opener “Full Earth pt I: Emanation”. But the longer the album continues the more the focus shifts towards vividly sparkling layers of organs, mellotron and synths, interwoven with neverending lead guitars (“The Collective Unconscious”) or the guest flute on the title track, which is also a twenty-minute coloss.

But even in the two short-form (as in: only up to six minutes long) tracks between the four massifs, which are basicially analogue electronic interludes, this album expresses an enormous size and an unfathomable beauty on the top of the wall. The eery breath of the “Weltgeist” is as inescapable as the mightiest Noise. The immersive droning swirl of “Echo Tears” doesn’t need Rock instrumentation to feel as powerful as staring directly into the Sun.

The perfect interplay between compositionally minimalist, yet sonically monolithic repetition and a deep scoop into the rich well of Progressive Rock, even hints of Jazz and a substantial inspiration in Modern Classical music, gives Cloud Sculptors a substance and gravity behind which most other works of monumental heavy music - no matter if they feature the “Metal”-prefix Post, Black or Doom - can easily take cover. Full Earth are playing as if they were not just producing sounds with man-made instruments, but wielding elemental forces instead. This album is a giant, who stomps his foot on the ground right in front of you, while butterflies are fluttering around his light-flooded hair. The kinetic power of his movements crashes the kig tide into the fjord, breaks the cliff off the coast and blows every ballast which is not Rock’n’Roll bliss out of your head.

There is something immensly satisfying and real about the sound of Full Earth and the production of this album. The size and thickness of it all could easily flatten you like a pancake, but luckily for your body proportions its power isn’t hostile, but fully on your side.

Of course if you’re already a fan of the still young, but very prolific Norwegian trio Kanaan - as you should be, because they’re one of the greatest live bands around these days! - you shouldn’t even need to read any of my descriptions, since all of this music was written by their drum kraken Ingvald André Vassbø, who you might also know from recently touring with non other than the legendary Motorpsycho, who should rightfully feel a healthy amount of fatherly pride for the influence their body of work has surely poured into the mold of Full Earth.

The cast to bring Vassbø’s ideas to life basically is a kind of extended version of Kanaan, as it consists of his fellow band members Ask Vatn Strøm and Eskild Myrvoll besdie him, but also adds bassist Simen Wie and keyboardist Øystein Aadland to the fold.

They are hitting several European festival and club stages in the coming weeks and I cannot wait to experience this inspired material live. Until (and after) then I will just be madly in love with this album. As redundant as it may be to contemplate about AOTY matters in early April, for me Cloud Sculptors - for now - has stormed the top spot in a striking manner.