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Earth Hex (Or Printing in the Infernal Method)

Earth - Hex (Or Printing in the Infernal Method)
1. Mirage
2. Land of Some Other Order
3. The Dire and Ever Circling Wolves
4. Left in the Desert
5. Lens of Unrectified Night
6. An Inquest Concerning Teeth
7. Raiford (the Felon Wind) MP3
8. The Dry Lake
9. Tethered to the Polestar
2005 Southern Lord Records

Reviewed by: Ash Levitt   //   Published: 10/9/2005

As evidenced by the recent release of covers and remixes by an unlikely gathering of artists such as Mogwai, Autechre, Jim O'Rourke, and SunnO))), Earth has a very strange and powerful influence over artists and listeners alike. It's almost indescribable how an Earth record can lure the listener into its envelope of sound and leave the listener an hour or so later like a ghost. The experience is somewhat amorphous, but always brings the listener back for more. Earth's newest full-length record of all new material Hex (Or Printing in the Infernal Method) is no different than previous releases in regard to captivating its listeners, and in some instances may have the ability to do so even more.

Earth's previous releases, including four records for Sub Pop and a host of other live releases, have always redefined what is truly heavy. Long existing mostly as Dylan Carlson (sometimes with other well-known musicians like Joe Preston, and with a drummer here and there), Earth engaged in ultra distorted heavy guitar driven drone similar to SunnO))). The song structures were long and took the listener on a journey as opposed to providing short, loosely connected songs. While Earth has certainly been known for certain characteristics in the past, Carlson and company have never been afraid to experiment with different musical ideas (they have even been known to engage in Jimi Hendrix covers). Hex is no different in this sense, as it takes a new and vastly different direction for Earth musically.

It would be hard to describe Hex as if it fell nicely in one genre. Simply put, Hex is the southern gothic sound at its finest, yet it is so much more. Carlson, and now full-time drummer Adrienne Davies, take elements of Americana, roots, blues, country, and doom to darker depths than any of those genres have ever been before. Carlson's guitar, banjo, and baritone guitar definitely invoke a particular mood and theme throughout the record while still allowing each track to exist on its own. The end result is a very unconventional, moving, memorable, afflicting, slightly sad, and dark record that is extremely powerful even in its quietest moments. The song structures are still long, falling somewhere between the ambience of Earth2 and the rock structure of Pentastar. In some ways, the instrumental music of Hex would be the perfect soundtrack to any scene in a movie where the antihero draws his last breath.

Bottom Line: If you are familiar with the previous musical incarnations of Earth, you should fall right in tow with Hex despite its drastic changes. If you have never experienced Earth before, this album would be a fine place to start. Expect a very different record that will probably not sound like anything you've heard before. Hex is the epitome of epic songwriting that is destined to be remembered as a classic.

NoMoshNoCoreNoFun_   posted 2/25/2008 2:20:59 PM
Saying Southern Lord doesn't put out quality records screams of "I take it in the ass!". Stephen O'Malley has been contributing and supporting the underground before most of you were accidentally (and unfortunately) conceived. Earth's Hex is a mood piece; an audio painting. It doesn't consist of breakdowns, fast parts, etc. It's music to be experienced on an atmospheric and introspective level. Southern Lord and Earth don't cater to fans of conventional songwriting, or those in need of instant g
randykins_   posted 10/21/2005 4:10:05 AM
wow. the MP3 is one big waste of time. I cant believe a group of people thought this was a good idea. horribly boring. Nothing exciting AT ALL happened. There are formulas to music, writing, and movies for a reason... they work. The formula for this song... turing it on, turn it off. forget it happened.
hxc0148_   posted 10/17/2005 8:43:33 AM
i really do adore the whole droning/slow/doom metal genre, it's one of my favorites and has been for years despite the recent popularity.But what i've heard off this album is just not good.....period. Yes the concepts are original but the actual substance of an album is just non-existant. It is boring, maybe i should just give the whole thing a listen through but whatever....what i heard sure as f*ck didn't deserve a 9/10.
corey_   posted 10/14/2005 8:24:28 PM
nice try, but not creative.
areaman_   posted 10/14/2005 10:43:54 AM
ash recommend this to me, and i listened to it for 10 minutes and put it away. pulled it out again today and im enjoying in quite thoroughly. i know i wouldnt give it a 9/10, but its definatley better than most of the shit jocked on this site.

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