ALBUM REVIEW: Earth – Primitive and Deadly

Rating8Earth-Primitive-And-Deadly-ArtworkIn 2005, out of the ashes of Earth’s first phase of existence as a band immersed in heavy metallic drone, came a new beast. Still laden with slow-crawling repetition this was drone with quite different colours, textures and most significantly elegant desert-parched melodies that hung in the air rather than being sucked into a dense morass of guitars. With each album over the last decade Dylan Carlson has stealthily explored similar dusty landscapes but Primitive and Deadly feels like the start of a new chapter.

The most obvious change is the addition of vocals and on two tracks Mark Lanegan is the perfect foil to Carlson’s primal, monolithic rumblings. He sounds as ancient as the music and never intrudes on the slow motion heavy metal riffs and sustained, distorted notes. ‘Rooks Across The Gates’ is the better of the two with his voice woven into the song rather than sounding like it was added to a pre-existing one. The epic eleven and a half minutes of ‘From The Zodiacal Light’ is the defining centrepiece of the album with Shaheen Qazi (Rose Windows) providing mystical, swirling, mantra-styled singing on a song that subtly morphs between great beauty and more doom-laden sonic gestures.

The success of Primitive and Deadly lies in Carlson deciding to evolve the Earth sound after it felt like it was threatening to become Earth-by-numbers. He has done that and done it exceedingly well, combining ethereality, weight and grace on an album that caresses with a sledgehammer in grand hypnotic fashion.

Chris Familton

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NEW MUSIC: Earth | From The Zodiacal Light


I was lucky enough to witness Earth live in concert in Sydney last night and it was a totally absorbing and sonically hypnotic experience with the Dylan Carlson-led trio playing a cross-section of music from across the second incarnation of the band’s existence. A few new songs were aired which sounded as good as anything else they’ve done. The new album Primitive and Deadly is out in September via Southern Lord and here’s the first taste of it in the form of ‘From The Zodiacal Light’. Oh, and that’s the stunning album artwork above.