Rhythmically plodding through this ever-expansive universe is Dylan Carlson's EARTH, one of the most influential bands to ever come out of the state of Washington. Influencing bands such as NIRVANA and the MELVINS and single-handedly pioneering the Drone genre, Dylan's visionary guitarwork has become the stuff of legend.
Imagine being strapped down and having a planet dropped on your head. Or rather, lowered onto your head, slowly, pressing your skull down like a pancake. That's EARTH. Now, add in some rhythms courtesy of drummer Adrienne Davies and you've got yourself something akin to an instrumental version of SLEEP's "Dopesmoker," only a bit slower, a bit heavier and capable of inducing even more of a trance. Anyone who has heard "Dopesmoker" will realize just how extreme those last statements really are. Also similar to that record is the fact that the title track here is an hour long, droning on and on and on, making the fourteen-minute solo guitar Dronefest "Dissolation III" seem like some sort of radio single.
Despite being a live record, "Living In The Gleam Of An Unsheathed Sword" sounds almost exactly like a studio album and though this one isn't quite up to par with "Earth 2," it makes an excellent companion piece to "Hex: Or Printing In The Infernal Method." If that record wasn't heavy enough for you, rest assured - EARTH channelled their crushing power right here. Prepare to be flattened. (Online March 21, 2006)