We're living in a time where we're told that 'rock is dead' or 'heavy music is going out of fashion' more often than ever - but if you're a fan of heavy music, you know that this is far from the case. If anything, recent years have seen heavier genres enter into somewhat of a renaissance with elements from a plethora of genres being fused in new and interesting ways resulting in the creation of exciting, emerging sub-genres. With the constant exploration of these new territories comes the introduction of many fresh and exciting band's spearheading their chosen disciplines and making a name for themselves within the national scene. One band doing just that is London-based quartet Earth Moves with their melodic, heavy, and captivatingly atmospheric music. Human Intricacy is the band's second full-length album and seeks to further explore and cement Earth Moves' intoxicatingly unique sound currently spreading through the UK's underground music scene.
Right from the opening track, it is clear that Human Intricacy isn't going to be just a run of the mill album. Thick layers of distorted guitar gently break against the ear creating a shoegaze-Esque soundscape that seems to encircle you before the introduction of the abrasive hardcore vocals and the strong, slow drums. This forges a unique atmosphere that brings together multiple powerful elements and creates something deeply alluring, cathartic, and filled with raw, unfiltered emotion.
One of Earth Moves' many strengths is their ability to bring together a variety of unique elements and create a sound that is so uniquely them. Key elements of hardcore, metalcore, screamo, shoegaze, and punk come together to create a sound that is fluid and ever-changing. There isn't a set formula to any track within Human Intricacy. Some tracks give an overt sense of subdued introspection, some tracks have unrestrained aggression, and some are something else entirely.
Over the entirety of Human Intricacy, the many facets of the band's sound are given their own moments to come to the forefront. Tracks like 'Prayer Sign' and 'Rot' form brief instrumental interludes where layers of delay-soaked guitar lines create beautiful soundscapes with more depth than it's run time gives it credit for. Contrasting with the stillness of the interludes, tracks like 'Other Voices, Other Rooms' and 'Into the Ether' have this overwhelmingly frantic, aggressive energy that while unpredictable, feels like well-organised, ordered chaos. It's this vast juxtaposition of material on Human Intricacy that really highlights how special of a band Earth Moves are. Very rarely do you find a band that steps so far outside of the norm and creates a niche with so much skill and tact that it has the potential to stop you in your tracks and leave you awe-stricken.
Coming as one of the most impressive moments on the album, the albums final two tracks serve as the perfect way to bring Human Intricacy to its conclusion. The two eight-minute goliaths fundamentally embody what Earth Moves are capable of and distil the essence of the whole album into two contrasting pieces. The penultimate track 'Their Eternal Home' embodies the band's heavier, caustic side, where a dreamlike middle section is bookended by sections of full-bore chaos that explores the band's heavier influences – tinges of black metal mix with sludge, hardcore, metalcore, and others to give the track an even greater sense of raw, unhinged aggression.
Immediately following this, the final track on the album is the instrumental 'Embody'. Beginning with a delicate, heavily processed guitar line, each tone evolving into a vast reverberating organ sound, the track is the embodiment of the band's knack for transformative soundscape. Following the vast openness of the introductory guitar lines, the drums bring you right back to the present with the immediate closeness of their dulled sound. Over the course of the track, the layers build and build until distorted guitars jump to the forefront and the tempo gradually slows as if you're stuck neck deep within the sludgy tones of the guitar. Both tracks are incredible stand-alone pieces and provide the perfect crescendo to see the album off.
Earth Moves have created a sound that is truly special and Human Intricacy is the total embodiment of this. There is so much subtlety, complexity, and greatly impressive moments on the album that every time you go for another listen new elements will stick out to you that you had previously missed. Human Intricacy stands out among the crowd as one of the most striking releases of 2019, give it a listen and you'll see why.
Human Intricacy Is Out Now Via Through Love Records & Truth Seeker Music.