CD: Southern Lord [2005]

Land Of Some Other Order
The Dire And Ever Circling Wolves
Left In The Desert
Lens Of Uncorrected Night
An Inquest Concerning Teeth
Raiford (The Felon Wind)
The Dry Lake
Tethered To The Polstar

Earth is the recently resurrected cult band project of one Dylan Carlson, who released a number of distortion based drone guitar epics on Sup-Pop during the 90’s. Yet despite such albums, for years Mr Carlson was more infamous for buying his friend Kurt Cobain ‘that’ shotgun. Well it is now 2005 and 9 years have past since the last studio album, where labels have changed, as have music styles. Likewise current interest in the music of Earth has peaked, thanks in most part to the underground band SUNN O))), who incidentally themselves stated out as an Earth tribute act. And to bring this loop full circle, the Southern Lord label is actually run by a member of SUNN O))).

So now that we are all up to speed with the historic context of the group, with this reincarnated Earth it is immediately evident that the catatonically paced, sub-tectonic, quasi-metal guitar distortion mussing of yesteryear are gone. Whilst the crawling speed remains, the load & noisy aspects have been replaced with a darkly introspective country/ western & blues based sound. With Mr Carlson having highlighted inspiration drawn from Neil Young’s movie score to Jim Jarmusch’s "Deadman", this is in fact a perfect comparison to highlight the direction, sound and aura of this album.

With slow paced cyclic melodies, augmented only with sparse percussion, the music perfectly reflects the mood of the black’n’white American frontier era photographs as depicted on the 20 page booklet.

Beyond any preconceived notions of what Earth have represented and achieved in the past, "Hex" is a phenomenal rebirth of the band’s style, brought to stunning result in a far subtler sonic guise.


[Earth] / [Southern Lord]

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