Released: 2007, Southern Lord Recordings
Earth is torrential, overwhelming, and vertiginous. Noise is never accidental (or at least it never seems as such), it bursts as a dizzying excess…minimalistic, warm, and harmless, yet still comparable to the decadence of sexual and narcotic extremes. This is inherent to the nature of Earth (no pun intended)…soothing, but somehow all together crushing and imposing. Everything is vast…except the music…it’s slow and simple.
HIBERNACULUM is a teaser of sorts: Three re-recordings and a killer newer track (“Plague of Angels”) heard on the recent Sunn O))) / Earth 12’’ split ANGELCOMA. The album’s First track – “Ouroboros is Broken,” which first materialized on the 1991 Subpop debut EXTRA-CAPSULAR EXTRACTION, was a stripped down – primitive Sabbath drone – mechanical and vague. Where as HIBERNACULUM presents a more mature Dylan Carlson…replacing fuzz for a country telecasting twang – atmospheric American desert drone – with enough surreal “canyon bends” to keep me captivated during the eight minutes this recording lasts. Track two (“Coda Maestoso in F (Flat) Minor”) and track three (“Miami Morning Coming Down”) follow suit…and provide windows into the maturity of Carlson’s aesthetic.
Etched into the viscera of Carlson’s aural corpus is the question of intricacy. At what point does complexity damage music? I’m not sure if the precautions Earth takes must always be employed…however, I’m not going to argue with Carlson…after all, he was the architect behind the greatest metal album ever recorded – EARTH 2. And, realistically, HIBERNACULUM is further projecting Earth into new creative territory. They have yet to release a bad album.
Conclusion: If you don’t listen to Earth…you probably should. HIBERNACULUM is a suitable “best of” to work with. Plus you get a fun documentary where a stoned unpretentious Carlson explains minimalism.