Woman is the Earth – Depths [US, Black] (2014)

Init Records | 4-1-14

Init Records | 4-1-14

I think I made mention before, in fact numerous times, that this band’s name confuses the hell out of me. In a style dominated by dark ruminations, Woman is the Earth does not sound like a black metal band, rather a possible eco-feminist power violence trio. I promise this is the last time I am bringing up the name as the the band’s music soon silences all questions and offers a brilliant and dazzling exploration into atmospheric black metal.

Depths is the third release from this South Dakota based act whose entire existence has been in self released records. Depths is the first album to see support from the South Dakota based label Init Records. I only make mention of label support since the band has the ability to astound listeners with its focus and strength in song writing. Depths is essentially a two song release bridged by a melodic instrumental. Though this full length is only 23 minutes, it takes its time in establishing what it wants to do and when it should do it. Though this sounds flippant, the quality that is displayed when the band makes music outshines all other factors. Woman is the Earth has had a lot of references to the Pacific Northwest tagged to their music, yet in 2014 those connections make less sense, in terms of contemporary black metal, than they would 5 years ago. Depths is a strong atmospheric black metal act that stands independent of any scene, country, or style. If forced to put it under a label, it is pure South Dakotan black metal.

Depths, so far, is the finest hour for Woman is the Earth as their sound is finely tuned compared to previous efforts. Additionally, the grey-scaled album cover avoids the tints of lavender, which marked their previous effort This Place That Contains My Spirit. Come on guys, just keep it together for a little bit longer. You got it. I remember first hearing Woman is the Earth and then immediately giving it to another friend who had to confirm my suspicions. Yes, this was an outstanding black metal release from a band without a misanthropic name. End of the year lists may get a little wild.