Cormac McCarthy’s Legendary ‘Blood Meridian’ Inspired This Post-Metal Classic

Earth: Mariano Regidor/Redferns (Getty)
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Throughout the years heavy metal has been inspired by literature; for example, you have the likes of Mastodon‘s Leviathan (inspired by Herman Melville’s Moby Dick), Metallica‘s Ride the Lighting (Stephen King’s The Stand), and the countless number of Tolkein-inspired bands that exist.

But among the numerous intersections of heavy metal and classic literature combining forces, one of the most breathtaking works ever made is Earth’s Hex: Or Printing in the Infernal Method.

Since their formation in 1989, the Olympia band has created an array of mesmerizing drone and psychedelic rock, offering equal doses of surreal and aggressive-sounding compositions.

Hex: Or Printing in the Infernal Method is the band’s fourth LP and one of their most technically astonishing works to date – it’s also very much inspired by Cormac McCarthy’s Blood Meridian.

McCarthy is still adored by readers to this day, and among all the books he ever wrote, Blood Meridian is one of his most cherished works.

The book made quite an impression on Earth, because when it came to Hex, every song title on the album was named after a line from the book. In creating this record, the band opted for a guitar sound that was reminiscent of something you might hear in a Western, the band even citing legendary film scorer Ennio Morricone as an inspiration.

Speaking about Blood Meridian, Earth’s Dylan Carlson shared the following (Terrorizer, via Wikipedia):

“That’s the one [Blood Meridian] that’s the most violent or occult, but all of his books deal with that theme of the West and the frontier and its violence and effects. It’s more about capturing that sense of place. As someone born in America, I definitely consider myself a product of the frontier and the history of it has influenced me. This whole vast continent and these ‘peoples’: ‘Indians’, the white man, they were all forced to deal with this place, an environment that was harsh and demanding and it forced people to react to it in a certain way. Like the ‘hex’ sign itself – the Mennonites are normally super God-fearing people, but when they came to American they had to invent these signs to keep evil spirits away. There’s this need to protect themselves from this entity that inhabits the landscape…everything was violent and hard, everyone was violent”

Earth has made several amazing albums over the course of their career, and without a doubt, Hex: Or Printing in the Infernal Method is one of their best. You can stream Hex below, and if you have yet to read it, you should also look into Blood Meridian.