Agitated Atmosphere: Earn – Hell on Earth

As major labels continue to exist behind the times, artists and labels with little capital and lesser reputations are producing some of the most innovative, interesting, and inspiring music. Whether it’s creating a new niche in digital technology or looking to once obsolete formats, Agitated Atmosphere hopes to pull back the curtain on a wealth of sights and sound from luminaries such as Earn.

The first moment of Hell on Earth brings goosebumps. Not a minute in and I’m shivering with excitement.

The latest for Matthew Sullivan is not a tense experience, contrary to the physical reactions I continue to have with the listens of Hell on Earth piling up. Though ethereal is apropos for many drone compositions, Hell on Earth has a tangible quality. It shifts as you do, its mood reflecting what you bring to it. It’s going to make you feel and that’s all we ever ask of music, often to be let down when those feelings subside or the first listen fades into a memory you’ll never recapture; an emotion that does rise into the ether.

But Hell on Earth is all too real, every listen brand new. Though it won’t sound as transcendent as the first time, it won’t matter. Considering the trick Sullivan pulls in crafting an album that suits any situation, those changes in attitude or atmosphere will affect how you hear this album. It’s a reflection of seasons, of time, of circumstance—music as fluid and creative as that in our dreams brought into waking moments.

In searching for a summation of Hell on Earth, I can only come to the obvious conclusion and it’s a sentiment I’m happy to “settle” upon.

Justin Spicer is a freelance journalist whose work can be viewed at his website. You can also find him on Twitter.

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