Today I want to talk about a great addition to the droney-stoner-metal-ambient litany. I just got the Sunn O))) double LP “Monoliths and Dimensions” (released in ’09 on Southern Lord Records), and the seamless guitar sounds seem to usher in fall as much as the chilly rain outside. Each side is one long track that rolls in and out of the speakers like ceaseless waves on the ocean. The feedback is subtly used and periodic basso vocals remind you that you are indeed listening to a record – this is not just the sound of your brooding. I particularly like side D, which begins much like the other tracks but somewhere in the middle introduces an oboe. Yes, an oboe, then a horn section. A gorgeous melody starts to leak in and takes over the track by the end, leaving you feeling as though Sunn O))) has just shown you your seat at the symphony. Wow. The record is packaged with detailed care. Each of the two 12″es has a photo covered sleeve. The gatefold includes more art and is finally wrapped in a translucent cover. Some people call Sunn O))) an “art band” because they place aesthetics as highly as their music. Check out their live show, where they place in medieval robes surrounded by candles and judge for yourself:
Sunn O))) hails from the states, currently residing in L.A. I believe. Wikipedia dates their birth as 1998. Regardless, they’ve put out a number of albums over the years, but seem to have remained a sort of underground secret, unlike, say, Neurosis. If YouTube counts for any kind of data collection, it appears as though they are bigger in Europe. One of the founding members, Greg Anderson, now runs Southern Lord Records. That’s how I got this record, along with a handful of other great slabs of vinyl in the same vein.
Black Breath “Heavy Breathing” LP
Lebanon “Overdose Overload” 7″ (members of From Ashes Rise)
Thou “Summit” LP (yeah, you can’t find this anywhere else in Denver)
Ascend “Ample Fire Within” 2xLP (another project from Greg Anderson)
Boris “Japanese Heavy Rock Hits Vol. 2 & 3″ 7”
Of special note, I also have the brand fucking new Wolves in the Throne Room, “Celestial Lineage” on CD (the vinyl will be available 9/30). Some veteran fans say this one is their best yet, and esteemed local critic Jason Heller says, “There’s one song on the new Wolves In The Throne Room that sounds like warrior-monks chanting while sharpening their blades on blood-soaked whetstones. Yeah, it’s that good.” I mean, that does sound damn good.
And one last bit on Sunn O))), a radio interview they did with Piers Morgan of all people. Still, it’s very interesting.