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Sunn0))): Black One

OK, maybe it's just me, but for some reason I just don't see what all the hoopla is over Sunn0))). I'll give them one thing, their brand of doom/noise/drone doesn't sound like anything else you are bound to hear these days. The problem is I just don't find much of anything that resembles music in what they put out. These guys love to hurl tons of droning guitar sludge at the listener, not so much riffs as just endless lingering distorted chords and noise. On Black One there are even some tortured vocals, although not really of the sort that you would even classify as actual singing. "Cursed Realms (Of the Winterdemons)", which is a great song title, is as enjoyable as hearing nails raked on a chalk board. A song like "CandleGoat", which is basically a fuzzed out guitar or bass solo (hard to tell as every instrument sounds the same on this album) has some appeal for about a minute, but at 8-minutes long it just goes on forever. After a while it just sounds like someone tuning their instrument with the distortion on max. And don't let the epic songs lengths fool you into thinking that there is some stretched out progressive rock or doom metal happening here folks. This is just bleak, droning, ambient noise that does nothing for these ears, but Sunn0))) obviously has plenty of fans who dig stuff like this. Proceed with caution.

Track Listing
1) Sinn Nanna (2:19)
2) It Took the Night to Believe (5:56)
3) Cursed Realms (Of the Winterdemons) (10:10)
4) Orthodox Caveman (10:02)
5) CandleGoat (8:04)
6) Cry For the Weeper (14:38)
7) Bathory Erzsebet (16:00)

Added: January 12th 2006
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Southern Lord
Hits: 2429
Language: english

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» SoT Staff Roundtable Reviews:

Sunn0))): Black One
Posted by Ken Pierce, SoT Staff Writer on 2006-01-12 08:15:26
My Score:

I began listening to this with an open mind and as it progresses into the first track on the CD you will find that this is a very smart and necessary position to take. The band Sunn 0))) perform what is called "Subsonic Metal" and call it what you will it seemed like I was listening to a lot of power chords being played or tune ups of the guitar that was brought to its lowest possible note and echoed over and over. It was not until track four which reminded me a little of an air raid siren in the distance or fire alarm that I even heard the semblance of drums. Don't get me wrong, it is an interesting idea and it slows down so much that it makes Stoner and Doom Metal seem fast. I admit that everything seems to have an audience these days and that I clearly did not get what these guys were doing but there is an overall creepiness and drama showcased that is quirkily enjoyable. It was almost like listening to background music that is suitable for walking through a graveyard at night or some other spooky surrounding. While there are seven tracks on the CD the majority of them lead into one another and unless you are paying careful attention you will not realize you are in the next tune. It has some similarity to the band Monolithe who delivered a 45 or so minute song and used a lot of the ambient and atmospheric musical experiments that Sunn 0))) does here. There are vocal lines but they are very difficult to discern and seem a little out of place from the type of music (?) that is going on. Clearly this is more for those that enjoy the slow rumblings of Stoner Metal and want to slow it up even more. Will this trend become more popular is anyone's guess. I would have to say that stranger things have happened but this was clearly not for me. Sunn 0))) is a side-project of Stephen O'Malley and Keith Anderson who perform in Burning Witch and Goatsnake respectively.

» Reader Comments:

Sunn0))): Black One
Posted by Irukandji on 2006-09-25 13:24:19
My Score:

If you don't "get" what you are reviewing, or don't understand it, do some research. Sunn0))) is a sonic experiment by O'Malley and Co. It's pretty well explained in numerous reviews with membes of this project, which derives influences from bands such as Earth. I'm not commenting on taste here, which is arbitrary because Sunn0))) will only appeal to a certain crowd. However, if this site is for the "New Intellectual", I'd expect the reviews to be objective and with "intellect", not at al like this one. Sunn0))) is not technically challenging- it's sonically challenging, and above all, an experiment.

Some advice: don't listen to/comment on anything else off of Southern Lord Records.

Sunn0))): Black One
Posted by Anonymous on 2006-01-12 14:30:25
My Score:

You have to look beyond the feedback. And look at the "negative space" left in the void by the feedback and the drone. It's not all melodic like some power metal stuff.

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