Earth Hex; or Printing in the Infernal Method

It’s been nine long years since Dylan Carlson has gotten it together to riff out the minimal droning metal ambience his project Earth emitted in the early ’90s, a sound that has recently come to blossom its full potential with amp-heavy doom drone projects like Growing, Khanate and Sunn O))) bursting out all over. There have been a few live Earth shows in recent years, some resulting in albums of their own, but Hex marks Carlson’s return to the studio. Backed up by subtle drummer Adrienne Davis, Carlson isn’t as concerned with reliving his past legacy as he is with forging forward. Hex moves at a snail’s pace through a sonic landscape that has more to do with the eerie countrified twangs of Ennio Morricone and Neil Young’s soundtrack for Dead Man than overloaded doom metal; the album though still retains Earth’s signature urge to expand each riff and note to its lengthiest potential. Anyone expecting something as mind shattering as Earth 2 might be sorely disappointed with Hex, but it is nevertheless an elegant and singular effort filled with sparsely beautiful passages that lead headlong into the void. (Southern Lord)