10 Releases From A Departing Year – Earth – The Bees Made Honey In The Lion’s Skull

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Tracklist:

Omens And Portents 1: The Driver

Rise To Glory

Miami Morning Coming Down 2 (Shine)

Engine Of Ruin

Omens And Potents 2: Carrion Crow

Hung From The Moon

The Bees Made Honey In The Lion’s Skull

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Seattle-based Earth were always seen as a bit of an anomaly among their brethren – while Dylan Carlson is known for being a close friend of Kurt Cobain (who eventually appeared on their records), the band itself hardly sounded anything like Nirvana or any of reigning 90s grunge bands. Instead, they took some of the sludgy aspects of bands like Black Sabbath and mixed with them with some of experimental/drone tendencies. Their records and music eventually forced the likes of Sunn O))) and Khanate to pick up the instruments.

“The Bees” is the band’s sixth studio record and  a follow up to 2005 “Hex Or Printing The Infernal Method” and 2007 “Hibernaculum”, two records released since the band went on hiatus in the mid 90s. The album features an appearance by Bill Frisell on few tracks and was recorded with the line-up of Dylan Carson, Adrienne Davis, Steve Moore and Don McGreevy.

The title of the record is a reference to a biblical story of Samson, who killed a lion and noticed swarming bees and honey on lion’s carcass upon return. Also, according to Pitchfork, Carlson saw “The Bees” as a gospel record.

AMG pointed out that “It’s odd to think that a band around this long is finally reaching its peak rather than trying to hold on to past glories.”, while Pitchfork called it “the biggest, cleanest, and most flagrantly melodic record Earth’s ever recorded.” Tiny Mix Tapes website claimed that “The Bees Made Honey is the most orchestrated, complete Earth record since Carlson’s return to the music scene, and the best of the “new” Earth. It is also far and away the most beautiful, awe-inspiring, and uplifting record Earth has ever recorded. It seems Carlson has made his own honey in the skulls of his past and is now stoically looking into that great sunset, optimistically awaiting a peaceful, bountiful future.”

The Bees Made Honey In The Lion’s Skull (Live)