While Earth may be rightly labeled as one of the forefathers of doom, that steamrolling, slow and foreboding form of metal, don’t let that tag scare you. Chances are if bands like Earth came from a different scene, one not steeped in the heavy sound of the Melvins, then this genre would have a much more innocuous name, something like post-rock, perhaps.

Yet, even if we disregard that creepy signifier, there is still something ominous about Earth’s latest release for Southern Lord, The Bees Made Honey in the Lion’s Skull. Each number seems to foreshadow some bad a** shoot out about to go down on the dusty, wind swept streets of the Old West. Every note carefully creeps out of the speakers, measuring their stride, taking their time to live, since, surely, one man’s going to find himself on the other side by the end of the song. However, the explosion you might expect, never comes. For Earth, it’s all about the build up, that slow, steady, and heavy build up. On “Omens and Portents 1: The Driver,” the heavy, sustained vibe is augmented by noted jazz guitarist, Bill Frissell, who adds texture to the ever present, low-end rumble supplied by guitarist Dylan Carlson. Come to think of it, maybe there is something to that word, doom. This isn’t exactly “Shiny Happy People.”

MP3: Earth – Omens and Portents 1: The Driver

The Bees Made Honey in the Lion’s Skull is out now on Southern Lord Records.

Earth Myspace
Southern Lord Records

Speaking of heavy, Fucked Up have recently wrapped up recording of their latest full length, The Chemistry of Common Life, due out this fall on Matador Records. If “Royal Swan,” is any indication of what to expect on the rest of the album, then these progressive, Canadian punks just may have a modern punk rock master piece on their hands.

“Royal Swan” is similar in tone to their game changing single, “Year of The Pig,” but not necessarily similar in scope. Seriously, did you expect them to release another 18 minute epic single? Still, there’s the tough as nails voice of Pink Eyes, juxtaposed with the much sweeter, gentler sounds of guest vocalist Katie Stelmanis, and a similar split in the music where hardcore power chords mingle with lighter, spacier moments.

MP3: Fucked Up – Royal Swan

Fucked Up
Matador Records