Metal is as complicated and varied a genre as any. Variations in instrumentation, vocal styling or timing can move a band from one subcategory to another. It's safe enough to call Washington-based Earth a drone-metal band, but that doesn't begin to express the dark, nuanced layers that comprise tracks so dense, they seem to have a gravitational pull. The release of Primitive and Deadly (Southern Lord, Sept. 2014) has a number of bloggers, critics and fans in awe, some suggesting it's the best Earth album since 2008's The Bees Made Honey In The Lion's Skull, a somewhat controversial release because of guitarist Dylan Carlson's penchant for dropping hints of alt/country and jazz into songs. Primitive and Deadly has its own surprises, including contributions from Mark Lanegan (Screaming Trees) and Brett Netson (Built to Spill), but regardless of how it is received or defined, Primitive and Deadly is, absolutely, Earth.