Since 1989, the slowest metal band on the planet has conjured some of music’s most striking tectonic changes. Not only did the band Earth create a glacially paced subgenre of metal and accidentally play a pivotal role in the popularization of grunge, but visionary leader Dylan Carlson also did it while battling small-town boredom, heroin addiction, and the tragic death of his roommate and best friend, Kurt Cobain.

Despite the high volume of its beloved and beautiful drone metal, Earth has rarely had much to say for itself. For the first time, in a moving saga that respects the music as much as the ragtag cast of eccentrics and surreal Pacific Northwest majesty that shaped it, Clyde Petersen gets to the core of the could-have-been-tragic triumph of Earth, the slow band that changed everything it touched.