Hex: Or Printing in the Infernal Method

Experimental doom-metal legends Earth return. This fine studio recording, Earth’s first in nine years, revisits old territory and ventures into new. The heavy trademark drones feature mesmeric, distorted riffing from Carlson and excellent minimal percussion from Adrienne Davies. However, this outing marks a substantial—and felicitous—stylistic change. It incorporates recognizable country and rock motifs (Carlson even plays a banjo on this one) with spacey overlays from pedal- and lap-steel guitar, wind chimes, trombone, and tubular bells. Randall Dunn’s production is just muddy enough to allow for plenty of textural contrasts. Songs are on the short side. The atmospheric opener “Mirage” clocks in at less than two minutes. Meditative, dark and warm, this album has integrity and accessibility.