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Woman Is The Earth - This Place That Contains My Spirit (Reissue) Award winner

Woman Is The Earth
This Place That Contains My Spirit (Reissue)
by H.P. Buttcraft at 26 April 2014, 2:09 AM

If South Dakota is known for anything, it’s probably Mount Rushmore; the faces of former U.S. presidents George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson and Theodore Roosevelt expertly carved into the side of a granite mountain. But now that I have discovered the band WOMAN IS THE EARTH, I can affiliate South Dakota with something else and it just so happens to be Black Metal. WOMAN IS THE EARTH was formed in 2007 and originally released their full-length record “This Place That Contains My Spirit” in 2012 without being signed to any record label. Due to its very limited release and the bands reclusive behavior, the album was kept in obscurity and WOMAN IS THE EARTH became one of South Dakota’s best-kept Metal secrets. This year, German record label Eisenwald decided to remaster and re-release this album only a few short weeks after the band released its second full-length album “Depths”.

WOMAN IS THE EARTH, as the user CrimsonFloyd on the Encyclopedia Metallum describes, has “the most clichéd name for a Cascadian Black Metal band ever” and I would have to agree. This style of Black Metal is stereotypically associated with Eco-activism, Henry David Thoreau-inspired transcendentalism and feminist ideas. A name like WOMAN IS THE EARTH seems to cover all of these bases in the band name but on the bright side, it’s still memorable.

Just like “12 Diadems” and “Two Hunters”, the WOLVES IN THE THRONE ROOM albums that no-doubt inspired “This Place That Contains My Spirit”, the record only consists of just four tracks but each track is enormous in length. The shortest track, “Bird Song”, is close to nine minutes long while the finale “Glow Beyond the Ridgeline” is a whopping sixteen minute-long composition (although I should mention that an atmospheric electronic outro encompasses the last half of its duration). This four-song album clocks at over three quarters of an hour so there is quite a bit to chew on, no matter how big of a bite of “This Place That Contains My Spirit” you take.

The distorted guitars build a rich and layered moodiness to every song. The vocals, although incomprehensible and flooded with reverberation, add detail to the wall of sound that the band produces that conveys feelings of loneliness, awe and despair. I really love the drumming on this record too, even though they weren’t mixed very well the first time around. I think Eisenwald succeeded at restoring the tone of the kick drums in particular, vastly improving them from what they sounded like on the original release. They aren’t overtly prominent but they aren’t buried under the valleys of mood and tone created by the guitars and vocals.

Overall, WOMAN IS THE EARTH have made a Cascadian Black Metal classic and have really impressed me as far as Metal bands that come from South Dakota go. If you are an Eco-friendly tree hugger that just so happens to love Black Metal, this album is made just for you.

4 Star Rating

1. This Place That Contains My Spirit
2. Bird Song
3. Sage Moon
4. Glow Beyond the Ridgeline
Jarrod Hattervig – Drums
Andy Martin – Guitars
Jon Martin – Vocals / Guitars
Record Label: Eisenwald


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