Boomkat Product Review:
Earth's Hex album, despite transgressing doom genre boundaries, turned out to be something of a touchstone for many artists in the field; its American gothic landscapes were quickly swallowed up as a new fixture in the death ambient vocabulary, and countless records seem to have been made since that have tapped into its stately Western gloom.
The Bees Made Honey In The Lion's Skull is a natural progression from Hex, taking the same template of slow, simplistic progressions and low-end riffing whilst adding liberal smatterings of keyboard instrumentation - hardly the sort of thing you'd expect from Dylan Carson and co. Some of this material is actually rather... pretty. 'Hung On The Moon' is augmented by Steve Moore's Hammond textures and jazzy piano, transforming the repetitive doom structure into a far more interesting, matured sound, loaded with a harmonic ambiguity.
Another key additional musician is Bill Frisell, who clearly spent some time looking for his distortion pedal for his stint on this album. In amongst the riff-mongering belligerence guitar passages break loose to open up the narratives. 'Engine Of Ruin' is a particularly fine example, with an end passage decked out with arcs of vibrant string bends and expressive, melodic phrasing.
A considerable evolutionary shift, this album sounds like the work of a very different group from the more ominous, monochromatic work of their droning past.