Speaking to Dylan Carlson following the release of last year’s solo effort Conquistador, he advised, “Use whatever is available to you to the best of your ability, there is never going to be a perfect time to begin or a perfect set of circumstances. Practice your craft. You don’t have to sound like your influences. Do your thing to the best of your ability and keep doing it. Service the music first.” These words from a stalwart and pioneer of the minimalist drone scene ring true and are embedded here in Earth’s latest release. Earth take repetition to new levels, often teasing the listener with the most subtle of shifts, but when the riffs are this good to start with, why change?
Full Upon Her Burning Lips is Earth at their back-to-basics best, incorporating a lot of the warmth that had been stripped away from their last few records, whilst adding the Americana vibes that shone through on Carson’s Conquistador. Opener ‘Datura’s Crimson Veils’ almost sounds like a Black Sabbath bridge riff, one that never quite reaches a chorus, trudging along with increasing intensity as it reaches its climax. The sparsity of guitar throughout parts of the album almost flips the tracks on their head, with Carlton’s hypnotic riffs setting the beat whilst original drummer Adrienne Davis is pushed to the forefront more than ever before, propelling the tracks steadily along.
30 years into a career built around a single theme, Earth have managed to create another enchanting listen yet again. It’s the subtleties at play, and the exploration of light and dark that keeps the listener engaged, with each lingering note having importance and reason.
Upon Her Burning Lips is out now and can be purchased here.
Words: David Brand