Dylan Carlson, the mastermind behind Seattle-based Earth, has always scared the shit out of me. For starters, the music hes made has been mostly rooted in dark, heavy riffs. But theres something about his steel-eyed gaze thats seriously intimidating. Like some kind of hardened criminal, he doesnt look at you so much as burn two razor-sharp holes through you. Carlson single-handedly changed underground metal. His earliest Earth albums were like crosses between an engines hum and gothic church music. The style was dubbed doom-drone, which means it incorporates equal parts LaMonte Young and Black Sabbath. But Sabbath is like Sesame Street when compared to Earth. Now that Earth has spawned multiple progeny (Sunn O))) began as an Earth tribute band) and the doom-drone genre is recognized by the New York Times, Carlson has decided to turn the volume down and head in another direction. While Earths 2001 album Hex is a masterpiece that resonates with crystal clear guitar tones, and atmospherics suggesting boot spurs, blood-stained barns, and ominous clouds gathering on the horizon, the next Earth album (scheduled for an early 2008 release on Southern Lord) will reportedly contain hints of gospel and jazz while continuing to explore the drone element. Carlson is one of modern musics great visionaries. Were lucky to have him. With Grails and Master Musicians of Bukkake.
Listen to a sample of Earth's "Ouroboros Is Broken."
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Sat., Dec. 1, 9 p.m., 2007