Sunday, January 17, 2010

Earth - Hibernaculum

Label: Southern Lord
Released: 2007
Style: Experimental, Avant Garde

"'Hibernaculum'is the next chapter in Earth's revitalised story, and interestingly it sees the band (fronted by founding member Dylan Carlson) re-visting some of their old classics and bringing them bang up to date with the fresh 'Hex' style. Fittingly, the opening track is a rendition of 'Ouroboros is Broken' which first appeared on the band's 1991 debut album 'Extra Capsular Extraction' and broke fans into Earth's droning manifesto. Originally almost twenty minutes in length this track showed the world that heavy rock music could take a few pointers from La Monte Young (one of Carlson's heroes and primary influences) and still retain everything that made rock music so appealing in the first place, and here Carlson has truncated the track to a mere eight minutes yet retained all the glory. This is almost a pop version of the original tremblingly heavy piece but for some reason, beneath the country-flecked riffs and simple, pounding percussion the drone is intact and the power is carried absolutely. This sentiment is carried into the second track, 'Coda Maestoso in F (Flat) Minor' a track that some of you might remember was reworked by none other than Autechre on Earth's fantastic remix record. One of their most recognisable moments, the classic distorted riffs are taken down a notch or two to become perfect, chiming plucked strings accompanied by piano and Hammond organ for that extra bar-room sound. The best rendition is saved for last though, a version of the lesser known 'Dissolution II : Miami Coming Down' from an early Ash International compilation, this shows Earth's sensitive side with the piano taking centre stage as Carlson gently plucks over the top. Possibly Earth's most restrained track to date this finds the band capable of mastering two warring sides and coming out the better for it. As if all this isn't enough, Southern Lord have bundled these tracks up with a new version of the phenomenal 'Plague of Angels' which was released on the 'Angel Coma' split 12' with Sunn O))) which some of us managed to grab on the recent tour ' a breathtaking piece, this is sixteen minutes of narcoleptic bliss. It doesn't stop here either, this is a two disc set with the second being a documentary (filmed by Seldon Hunt) combining live footage and interviews with Dylan Carlson which give a surprising amount of insight into the reasons why Earth are so important right now. Carlson talks openly about his influences, his likes and dislikes in modern music, and we get to see highlights from the tour. I don't think there's any way you can miss out on this stunning package - it's got everything you could want and is the perfect stop-gap before the imminent next album proper. Essential Purchase." - Boomkat


1 Ouroboros Is Broken (8:17)
2 Coda Maestoso In F (Flat) Minor (6:52)
3 Miami Morning Coming Down (5:15)
4 A Plague Of Angels (16:21)

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