Monday, June 15, 2009

Sunn O))) - "Monoliths And Dimensions" CD

Hailing from Seattle, this prolific duo (Stephen O'Malley and Greg Anderson) has undoubtably been one of the most well-regarded acts the area has produced in many a year. Sunn O))) specialize in a special gray area that skirts the lines between ultra-heavy doom metal and avante-garde noise/drone. You think Black Sabbath were slow? These guys truly CRAWL, with long, drawn-out, down-tuned bass chords and a variety of spooky effects that could be the soundtrack to someone's mental breakdown. This album, the group's seventh (if you don't count their numerous singles/EPs/collaborations) ups the ante with plenty of guests and some larger cinematic moments. The 17+ minute opener here, "Agharha", incorporates narration from Mayhem's Attila Csihar, creating a texturally rich soundscape complete with horns and grinding strings -- impressively intense and otherworldly. "Big Church" incorporates a Viennese woman's choir for eerie effect (think a classic Hammer horror film, maybe). "Hunting And Gathering (Cydonia)" is almost like a symphonic black metal minus the drums, and again features Csihar's masterfully evil vocals among the blackened guitar grind and, get this, brass! The closer, the 16-minute "Alice" is almost a crescendo of slow, brooding strength, told through fuzzed-out, sustained power chords and horns. It ends on an almost hopeful, even jazzy note. 'Monoliths And Dimensions" is as apt a title as you're gonna get. This is real. I love it. (Southern Lord)

No comments: