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Dusted Angel - "Earth Sick Mind" (CD)

Dusted Angel - "Earth Sick Mind" CD cover image

"Earth Sick Mind" track listing:

1. The Thorn (5:37)
2. Seeking The Dawn (4:58)
3. Tards On Shards (7:25)
4. Scottstober (7:08)
5. Dogwhistle (4:22)
6. Pulverizer (4:48)
7. Earth Sick Mind (5:44)

Reviewed by on October 21, 2010

"After an insignificant EP last year, Dusted Angel puts out a much-improved sound on debut 'Earth Sick Mind.'"

After an insignificant EP last year, Dusted Angel puts out a much-improved sound on debut “Earth Sick Mind.” Their fuzzy, stoner metal is more defined and the band seems to be having a blast recording these seven tracks. A jam-like aura is evident on many of the tracks, bolstered by strong production and chemistry between the members. The band’s affliction for longer songs bites them in the behind with two clunkers in the middle that stalls the album, but the songs that precede and follow them make up for the faulty misstep.

“The Thorn” was originally on the “Dusted Angel” EP, and since it was the best song on the EP, it makes sense that the band would want to start off the album with it. It’s the most progressive track on here, starting out with a clean intro that takes almost two minutes to get going. Combine that with the spacey interlude near the end and Dusted Angel took a risk that paid off with “The Thorn” as the opener. It would have been in the band’s interest to play around with the space rock elements. Instead, the rest of the album sticks to mid-tempo stoner vibes that has been performed by everybody from St. Vitus to Corrosion of Conformity.

“Seeking The Dawn” and “Pulverizer” are upbeat affairs that have a strong groove supporting them. Uncontrolled foot-tapping is at an all-time high during these numbers. Bassist Elliot Young and drummer Bill Torgerson are fantastic in their respective roles, usually outshining the rest of the band. Even when the solos fly on these tracks, the listener’s attention is on Young and Torgerson. While the guitar work is no slouch, the real stars here are the two musicians in the background, providing rock-tight beats.

Having two epic tracks back-to-back is not always a smart decision and Dusted Angel pays for it. “Tards On Shards” isn’t the issue, having justification for its seven-minute running length with a creepy long intro and a soulful guitar lead passage. “Scottstober” is the big dud on here, just crawling along with no defined purpose. Not even a few choice guitar licks or Torgerson’s frantic fills can save the track from being a total bore. When the dust settles, there isn’t anything worth harping upon about “Scottsober.”

A few issues aside, Dusted Angel has made great strides in the past year, resulting in a fine debut worthy of the attention of any doom/stoner fan. This year has been jam-packed with quality albums, making “Earth Sick Mind” an album likely reserved for the underground masses. Nothing on here is revolutionary; just five musicians jamming out in familiar sonic grounds.

Highs: Jam-like aura on "The Thorn," very groovy, upbeat sound, fantastic rhythm section

Lows: Two side-by-side epics bring the album to a screeching halt, not the most original sound out there

Bottom line: A solid debut that shows a lot more potential in the stoner metal sound than their EP did.

Rated 3 out of 5 skulls
3 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)