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Earth: The Bees Made Honey In the Lion's Skull

Things don't get much doomier than this boys and girls. Sure, Black Sabbath, St. Vitus, Down, Candlemass, and Cathedral might be heavier, but I dare anyone to deny that the lads from Earth really hit upon that doom vibe each and every time out, that feeling where the music chills your bones and permeates your very soul. Droning, yet filled with plenty of psychedelic passages and also a bit of rootsy twang, The Bees Made Honey In The Lions Skull features seven semi-lengthy instrumentals, made up of plodding drum beats, waves of distorted guitar chords, and the occasional lead passage from Dylan Carlson and special guest Bill Frisell. What is the legendary avant-jazz guitarist Frisell doing on an Earth album you might ask? Well, laying down some pretty searing fuzz lines on tracks like "Omens and Portents 1: The Driver" and "Engine of Ruin", playing off the crushing dirges of Carlson and Steve Moore's Hammond organ washes. The ominous title track contains some pretty dramatic sounds, and the guitar/piano melodies are actually quite catchy, but by this time, at close to 54 minutes long, you begin to realize that you've basically just sat through an album that could be one long track, as there's not much to differentiate each song here, just plenty of similar twang & doom riffs all patched together. Sure, a good portion of them are well worth hearing, but in all honesty this CD could have been trimmed of about 15-20 minutes and it would have made for a much more enjoyable set.

Track Listing
1) Omens and Portents 1: The Driver
2) Rise to Glory
3) Miami Morning Coming Down II (Reprise)
4) Engine of Ruin
5) Omens and Portents II: Carion Crow
6) Hung From the Moon
7) The Bees Made Honey In the Lion's Skull

Added: May 9th 2008
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Southern Lord
Hits: 3865
Language: english

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Earth: The Bees Made Honey In the Lion's Skull
Posted by Michael Popke, SoT Staff Writer on 2008-05-09 22:27:19
My Score:

Earth continues to evolve, morphing from the so-called "satanic twang" of 2005's Hex: Or Printing in the Infernal Method to the gothic, southern-rock and psychedelic tones of The Bees Made Honey in the Lion's Skull. This is slow, all-instrumental doom-filled drone rock that won't bring you down, despite the foreboding crawl of the aptly titled "Omens and Portents I: The Driver" and "Omens and Portents II: Carrion Crow." Tracks like "Rise to Glory" (during which you'll half-expect Wolfmother's Andrew Stockdale to let out an ear-shattering howl) and "Engine of Ruin" (featuring renowned jazz guitarist Bill Frisell admirably stepping out of his comfort zone) resound with more musicality that you might expect from a band of this nature.

Oh, sure, Earth's mammoth melancholy remains. But The Bees Made Honey in the Lion's Skull is still sticky-good -- drenched with thick down-tuned guitars, meditative piano and death-march percussion.

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