Full Earth -
Cloud Sculptors

(CD 2024, 85:16, Stickman)

The tracks:
  1- Full Earth pt I: Emanation(21:06)
  2- Cloud Sculptors(20:05)
  3- Weltgeist(6:08)
  4- The Collective Unconscious(18:37)
  5- Echo Tears(5:36)
  6- Full Earth pt II: Disintegration(13:46)

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Of course everyone knows what a full moon is. But does everyone know what a full earth is? Well from now on you probably will after listening to Cloud Sculptors, the debut album of Full Earth. The psychedelic, progressive quintet, based in Oslo in Norway. Centred around drummer and composer Ingvald André Vassbø. Who might be known to some people as a member of Kanaan and recently also Motorpsycho. Joining him are the two other members of Kanaan as well. Namely Ask Vatn Strøm (guitars) and Eskild Myrvoll (additional guitar, Korg MS-20 synthesizer, noise). Furthermore Øystein Aadland (Farfisa organ, Yamaha yc30 organ, mellotron, synthesizer) and Simen Wie (electric bass, additional guitar) are in the band. Have to mention as well that Vassbø plays next to the drums also on the Yamaha yc30 organ.

Full Earth creates on Cloud Sculptors a musical style which can be described as a mix between Heavy Psychedelic, Progressive Rock and Stoner Rock. On the six all instrumental tracks, written by Vassbø, you can hear musical influences taken from Seventies bands such as Hawkwind and Nektar. But also the sixties (Psychedelic era) and early seventies albums made by Pink Floyd come to mind. You can also hear that they have a for love for minimalist music, especially Terry Riley comes to mind the way they play on the organ. But also the influences of heavy stoner rock in the vein of bands such as Elder, High On Fire and Sleep is going around on the entire album.

While listening to the album you sometimes get the impression that it is as if you are listening to pure jamming in the studio and improvised music recorded while having fun in the studio and rehearsal room. Cloud Sculptors is a monumental album lasting over 80 minutes on which the first two tracks are without any doubt the musical highlights. Full Earth pt I: Emanation is like a 21 minute long whirlwind of chaotic heavy guitar sounds which takes everything down which comes in their way. Half way you are in the eye of the storm and the tempo goes a little bit down and the keyboards take over for a little moment before the storm comes up again. The title track is probably my favourite piece on the entire album. This 20 minutes long piece of music features Henriette Eilertsen on flute. It starts with beautiful Mellotron flute parts which reminded me of the intro of The Last Human Gateway. The IQ composition which you can find on their debut album Tales From The Lush Attic released in 1983. After that you are in the reign of Pink Floyd and reminds me of their compositions Set The Controls For the Heart Of The Sun and Careful With That Axe, Eugene. Mainly because of the David Gilmour kind of guitar parts and Nick Mason kind of drum playing. Finally I have to mention that the third long track The Collective Unconscious (almost 20 minutes) is also worth checking out because of its fine Mellotron, organ and guitar parts. But I guess each of the six compositions are worth listening!

As for the art work and cover they asked their friend and artist Sunniva Hårstad. She constructed the cover art completely freely from the emotions and ideas evoked when listening to the music on the album. When they made the album, they wanted to cover both spiritual and symbolic, but also have some kind of gritty or rough element to it. They were deeply interested in mythology, folklore and spirituality when making the album, they knew that Sunniva had been working with folklore themes for a long time. Both shared fascination with Norwegian artist Gerhard Munthe and therefore ask her to create the cover. It symbolizes many things. According to Vassbø, the album title Cloud Sculptors is named after the short story The Cloud-Sculptors Of Coral D by the British surrealist James Graham Ballard, which takes place in a fictional desert called Vermillion Sands.

All in all a nice first musical effort of a band which probably will come to more musical highlights in the years to come. But for now enjoy Cloud Sculptors if you are into a musical mix of Heavy Psychedelic, Progressive Rock and Stoner Rock and enjoy bands such as Elder, High On Fire, Sleep, Hawkwind, Nektar and Pink Floyd.

*** + Henri Strik (edited by Tracy van Os van den Abeelen)

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