Monday, June 25, 2007

For the love of god and all that is holy, Earth's Hex: Or Printing in the Infernal Method is utterly sublime

For one reason or another, it's been a month or two since I've listened to any later-day Earth. Sunn O))) has found its way onto my playlist regularly. I've experienced A Bureaucratic Desire for Revenge (Parts 1 and 2) within the past week. But Pentastar and Hex have been the subject of an unconsidered neglect.

Friends, please allow me to warn you against such a thoughtless and ultimately self-destructive course of action. Listening to Hex as I type, I am all but overcome by the sumptuous textures layered one on top of another in this album. Earth is a group of traditionalists, and Hex is constructed using only the standard guitars and drums, but through a miracle of ingenious recording techniques, they coax lyrical and organic voices out of these commonplace tools. As their name would suggest, Earth eschews the ethereal; their instrumentation is not evocative of the angelic or the demonic. Rather, you can almost feel the dusty soil sliding through your fingers as the guitars peal, resonate, and sing. The mundane is the sublime. Earth elevates the coarsest, most visceral elements of physical reality to an exalted stature. Even a simple stone takes on the epic proportions of a grand monument to the shocking presence, the undeniable reality, of physical existence. These songs are hymns to the world at dawn, while the intentionality of the small scurrying creatures still sleeps, but the earth sits with open eyes, ever watchful.

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