The cover of On This Planet offers two of the many faces of Earth. One is a craggy, misty place of eerie cold, the other a wind-worn ancient desertscape. Both extremes are intense and lonely, yet extremely inviting in their inhospitableness. It is like being drawn toward the knife. Challenging "dark ambient" composer Steve Roach asks you to experience his compositions loud. This is no unobtrusive sonic background, but a sound atlas to the nether regions. His creations are wrought with didgeridoo, clay pots and other varied percussion, synthesizers, conversation, and electronic respirations. This is a condensation of material developed for and through his 1997 tour. On the basis of the evidence presented here, listeners who missed the tour should rue the day they passed up any opportunities to witness it.
AllMusic Review by Tom Schulte