Earth was one of first bands to re-create droning musical concepts in a rock or metal context. Heirs to all preceding drone-metal acts, they forgo their low-tuned metallic sludge for drawn-out cinematic slow-burners.
Earth recruited veteran jazz guitarist Bill Frisell as producer and collaborator for this one, with intriguing results. The songs are all instrumental, yet Earth's droning workouts never drag or wear on your nerves. It's slow, and there's hardly ever an incredibly noticeable chord change, yet the songs move with such extreme confidence, radiant with blazing energy and emotional dominion.
The Bee is a jaunt of slow jangling guitars that forge into layered harmonies, dissolving into repetitive musical mantras that float and hum, resonate and breeze. The enveloping drones actually succeed in sketching mental pictures of empty sunburned pastures and long stretches of deserted highways. The guitars twang throughout, sometimes echoing American folk, other times jazz — but always situated perfectly and composed in flawless balance.
The drums work in a muffled skitter, functioning strictly to wheel the slow beat and to work around the skeleton bass lines. There's slight keyboard work that surfaces only to flesh out a tone here or there or to slap a breezy ambience over the noise. This album's a gift to lovers of gorgeous sounds. Earth has produced a gem that breaks from genre imitations while avoiding the pitfalls of modern experimental metal, creating music that sticks to the ears.
Kent Alexander writes about music for Metro Times. Send comments to email@example.com.
We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Detroit Metro Times works for you, and your support is essential.
Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Detroit and beyond.
Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.
Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Detroit's true free press free.