Release Date: May 24, 2019
Record label: Sargent House
To mark Earth's 30th anniversary, guitarist Dylan Carlson, the project's sole constant member, comes nearly 360 degrees with Full Upon Her Burning Lips, the band's ninth studio album and first in five years. 2014's Primitive and Deadly marked the pinnacle of the arid, Americana-tinged sound Carlson and friends began carving with the previous decade's Hex: Or Printing in the Infernal Method. Paring down the band's lineup to just himself and longtime drummer Adrienne Davies, Carlson places his own focus on riff and rhythm over drone, which is not to say that he's left the latter behind.
"I would hear riffs from bands that I liked, and I'd want them to keep playing that riff," Dylan Carlson recalled recently. "I was always wondering what would happen if you just stuck on that one riff." That such a simple idea could spawn a varied, lasting musical career seems impossible. Yet over three decades, Carlson's band Earth have crafted a rich discography by doing just that.
2019 is Earth's 30th anniversary, and Full Upon Her Burning Lips continues Dylan Carlson's deepened exploration of Ennio Morricone-influenced Americana which has been the staple characteristic of the band's output since 2005's Hex; Or Printing in the Infernal Method. From their inception, Earth were a minimalist drone band who used distortion, volume, repetition and musical inertia to great, genre-defining effect, and their albums Earth 2: Special Low Frequency Version and Phase 3: Thrones and Dominions are rightly considered as stone-cold classics of the drone metal oeuvre. In the early 00s, Earth returned after a nine-year hiatus between records with a sound which was more melodic, gentle, less abrasive and confrontational than much of their earlier work, as they used aural tropes from country and folk as a shift away from the monolithic slabs of noise that they were known for.