You’re in the desert, wearing whatever is left of your clothing after being so badly beaten by that gang of relentless desperados that left you there for dead a few days ago. No water, no food – the hallucinations are starting to settle in. The blue sky looks black and every bit of sand that blows against your face feels like your worst enemy is burning his cigar out on your flesh. There’s not much hope and the vultures know it too – they’ve already started swooping down as you stumble closer and closer toward absolutely nothing. The tumbleweeds are made of razorwire and you’re the last person alive.
Sound pleasant? Well, now you have an idea of what to expect from the latest offering from the almighty EARTH. Dylan Carlson is back after a long, long break and instead of releasing another “Earth 2,” he’s gone a completely different route. After all, we have SUNN0))) now, so EARTH had better do something innovative to stay relevant in the Drone game. Black Americana, they call it – the Old West on downers, a gas-lit lynching in slow-motion. Staying true to his vision, Dylan made this one slow and heavy, but this time the distortion is turned down, the drums are near ever-present and whole thing is drenched in a good healthy bit of twang. No vocals, no frills – except for a little bit of trombone and lap steel that are so subtle that you’d probably pass over them without even noticing. But you know what? It’s awesome.
“Hex: Or Printing In The Infernal Method” is what happens when you hire H.P. Lovecraft to direct “The Good, The Bad and The Ugly.” This is Hank Williams after a bad mental breakdown, or THE MELVINS donning cowboy boots. It’s all that and it’s EARTH and that means that it’s worth your hard-earned cash. Just keep zonin’ on the dronin’, partner. (Online January 24, 2006)