Earth in Manchester


Earth, looking suitably infernal.

Out this evening to the Zion Centre in Hulme to see Seattle drone metal band Earth. I didn’t get to see their performance at the 2005 Arthurfest in Los Angeles but this event made up for that. Support—which we missed due to late arrival—was from Sir Richard Bishop, whose portrait I produced for the last issue of Arthur Magazine.

Earth play that kind of slowed-to-a-crawl metal which has its roots in Black Sabbath (the origin of their name) and Swans. The band have some great album and track titles, among them Thrones and Dominions, Hex (Or Printing in the Infernal Method) and Teeth of Lions Rule the Divine, the latter being borrowed by a drone doom supergroup. Unlike followers Sunn O))), who don robes and fill the stage with fog, the Earth presentation is a minimal one: no vocals, just the music, and no effects, red light only. I’d heard a couple of Earth CDs but what becomes obvious when you see them live is that this kind of music really benefits from loud volume and a good sound system. Both those elements were in place tonight which made for a thoroughly immersive experience.

Earth have a new album out at the end of this month, The Bees Made Honey in the Lion’s Skull, on the Southern Lord label.