Full upon Her Burning Lips
As far as Earth founder and guitarist Dylan Carlson is concerned, any riff worth playing is worth playing again and again. Five years after Primitive and Deadly, their first album to feature vocals since the mid-'90s, the pioneering Seattle drone band has stripped itself back to the barest of minimums: just Carlson and percussionist Adrienne Davies remain in the room for their ninth offering, Full Upon Her Burning Lips. And, proving that less really is more, it's austere, expansive, and one of their best since returning from hiatus in 2005. Despite forming a coherent and bewitching 63-minute journey, these 10 tracks came together in completely different ways, over a number of years. The slow-burning, Hendrix-inspired opening track “Datura's Crimson Veils” was written over the course of a month. “Descending Belladonna,” which focuses on a single warbling riff, first came into existence during a 2016 live soundtrack performance to accompany a screening of the film Belladonna of Sadness. “Maidens Catafalque” and “Exaltation of Larks” were completely improvised in the studio. “An Unnatural Carousel” is unusually intricate, but even the album's most complex song creeps along like a commanding, slow-rolling fog. Thirty years into their career, this is Earth at their truest, most meditative Black Sabbath-worshipping best.