Southern Lord 2007
Slow as molasses and dry as the dusty bottom of an desert riverbed comes the latest release from doom drone mega stars, Earth. Hibernaculum is a musical equivalent to a hot summer's day on the dust filled plains of the midwestern deserts. Clean guitars, simple and plodding drums, and the odd western tinge hang thick in the air as I listen to this album. Each song slowly and methodically builds to a slightly more complex crescendo as more layers are added to the extremely barren skeleton. Though I could not say it was any sort of real climax. Hibernaculum is a calming and contemplative album that breathes and paints mental images in broad elegant strokes. No vocals confuse the message that the instruments are trying to convey. Every note invokes a sense of desolate introspection through the talented use of minimalism and extreme repetition. The beat and basic guitar structures are the same throughout each composition and every once in awhile a tiny flourish manages to creep to the surface of these shimmering desert mirages. The disc also comes with an interesting DVD that provides some insight to Dylan Carlson's thought process and contains some intriguing live clips. But I want to focus on the music of the album. The album is really actually 3 older songs stripped bare and performed in a stark reinterpretation of the original material and the fourth song, A Plague of Angels, is from a tour only split with Sunn0))). My favorite track is Coda Maestoso In F(Flat) Minor. It is so soothing and those subtle keyboard melodies drifting so softly over that plodding guitar sets me at easy like the dawning of a new day. With this album I see visions of tumble weeds slowly drifting as an ominous storm looms ever nearer in the distance. A humbling album that is musically humble.