Since 1991 Earth and their commander-in-chief Dylan Carlson have been regarded by many as pioneers of drone/experimental guitar-based instrumentalism. This latest release was recorded during the same sessions as its 2011 companion piece Angels of Darkness, Demons of Light I and continues to cement their evolution from the voluminous, ear-crushing doomscapes of their pre-hiatus work towards a more restrained and dexterous Jazz/Americana infused sound.

The album’s opener, 'Sigil of Brass' raises a sparse and bleak curtain on proceedings as Carlson picks a brittle three note guitar line, allowing space for each note to breathe, whilst the rest of the band provide an almost orchestral backing through sporadic swathes of cymbals and cello that threaten to explode, but never do. Instead the track segues into 'His Teeth did Brightly Shine', constructed around a low bass rumble underpinning a chord sequence that’s reminiscent of a 70’s psychedelic groove, stripped back to its core parts and then played across an empty desert.

The most striking element of the album is the amount of restraint and precision exercised by Carlson & co. Every note is played with a sense of purpose and deliberation that offers an intriguing counterpoint to what appears at first listen to be formless, jam-based song structures. This comes to the fore on the album’s 13 minute opus 'Waltz (A Multiplicity of Doors)', where drummer Adrienne Davies lays down a slow, lurching jazz beat, that provides a solid anchor around which guitars swirl ethereally in the distance before stabbing the listener with snatches of country riffs that disappear almost as quickly as they arrived. Carlson’s guitar work is given further emphasis through the simultaneously gorgeous and visceral Cello, played by Lori-Goldstein of Nirvana: Unplugged in New York fame. It's the thought and deliberation behind every riff and pull, (and the spaces between) on this album that gives it a dynamism that can so often be missed on albums made up entirely of instrumental tracks.

Indeed Angels of Darkness, Demons of Light II is proof conclusive that Earth are a band now moving in musical spaces far beyond the drone/doom tag they helped create and define. As the album draws to a close with the almost Pink Floydian Jam 'The Rakehell', filled with effortlessly cool guitar swagger and driving drum patterns, its clear that Earth and Carlson are shaping up to continue to successfully innovate and transcend instrumental styles and genres for some time to come.