Album Review: Across the River of Time by Father Sky Mother Earth

“Father Sky Mother Earth is a drone doom duo from Hamburg, Germany.” I have to admit that when I read this I was surprised. I was surprised because while there is no doubt about the ‘drone doom duo’ bit, I would have not associated Hamburg with the music found here. What I was getting from early listens to this album is vast open spaces from the eerie soundscapes that are being formed here. Then, thinking about it a bit more you could argue that some of the music here could also conjure up the claustrophobia of a dark misty night by the sea. Perhaps not in the busy docks, but along the coast where there is a stillness, apart from the disembodied sounds of warning sirens and ships’ horns.

What this underlines for me is that the atmospheres being created by Father Sky Mother Earth on ‘Across the River of Time’ are probably very much down to the listener. Comprising two eighteen minute long tracks, this is very much a sonic experience to lay back and give in to. For me there is always the danger that drone can fade into the background, it can lose focus because, frankly, there is nothing happening. These tracks are not like that at all because, although highly repetitive, they are also full of the sort of hooks that your brain can grab onto. Hooks that then take you off on the sort of imaginings that match your mood and purpose.

The two tracks presented here are different from each other, yet they also seem to have a shared purpose. While there is an underlying bleakness to them, there is also something that is inherently reflective about them. This is about you and the music, if you sit alone it will reward you with insights. If you are in a group don’t talk, let this brooding sonic palette paint a picture in your mind, let it dredge the dark corners and reveal previously undiscovered recesses. But do it safely. This is because these tracks to not build up to climaxes and come down again, there are no bridges into something else…just expanses, swathes of potential just waiting to be discovered.

I’m not sure if the following makes sense, but this is superior drone. Its something that really will grab you and, while it requires an investment of time and attention from the listener, it will repay that many times over. So if you’re put off by words like ‘drone’ and ‘doom’, don’t be, alternatively if those things are your thing this is going to be one of your key albums of the year. Just try to stop listening to it.


‘Across the River of Time’ is released on via download and on cassette. Check out the duo’s bandcamp for more information here.



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