Earth: Primitive and Deadly Review

Earth‘s stony drone came on the scene in the late 80s and early 90s–pioneering the beginnings of drone-metal. Since the band’s formation, they’ve put out a steady stream of albums, all of which incorporate looping, minimal structures and distorted sustained chords. Their latest, Primitive And Deadly, is no different. The record creates heavier than air atmospheres that move surprisingly quick between sludgy low-end and squealing leads. The result is an album that was perhaps made for vinyl.

Primitive And Deadly begins with the instrumental track, “Torn By The Fox of The Crescent Moon.” The song does well to set the pace for the record. Its repetitive plodding begins to take on new movements as the parts bleed into each other. A Rothko-like spirituality pervades the hums and subtle voltas of “Torn By The Fox of The Crescent Moon.” The song doesn’t stray far from its initial riff, but the effect of its repetition and variation is compelling enough to draw any listener into its dark textures.

The album continues its slow onslaught of sonic walls. Much how “Torn By The Fox of The Crescent Moon” doesn’t evolve much from beginning to end, Primitive And Deadly operates within a flatter plane of existence. It’s main goal is not to change from first song to last but to saturate its listener with lush textures and heavy drones and sparse lyrics.

That said, the lyrics hit an exceptional level of mastery in “From the Zodiacal Light.” One of the moments of album in which the lyrics mach the overall epic-tone of the instruments, “From the Zodiacal Light” weaves muddy low-end and held out pinch harmonics with lyrics that float above the aural soup. The vocal melodies add a bit of complication to their otherwise simplistic but hypnotic pattern.

While a slower album overall, Earth’s Primitive And Deadly delivers a drone-metal masterpiece. Perfect for fans of Weedeater, Pallbearer, Sigur Ros, and other heavily textural bands, the album, as with Earth’s other work, sets a high bar. Primitive And Deadly is hypnotic, and darkly beautiful (and basically made to be played on a turn-table in a dimly lit basement).

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