I'll be the first to admit that I just didn't GET Sunn O))) for many years...hell, I'm not sure even today that I GET them all that much. Their brand of noise/drone/doom just seemed like, well, a lot of noise and drone, and not enough music. Their latest release Monoliths & Dimensions however finally seems to be putting all the pieces together, at least for these ears. Comprised of four LOOOONG tracks, this one is nearly an hour of apocalyptic drama, dirges that create a vision of the end of the universe, as extended, ponderous waves of crushing, distorted doom riffs, fuzzed out bass, horns, strings, and keyboards create plenty of ominous textures and soundscapes. Most of this is instrumental, save for some creepy vocals from Mayhem's Attila Csihar and a bit of female choirs, with founding members Greg Anderson and Stephen O'Malley creating a wide assortment of crushing sounds and tranquil atmosphere. Opening cut "Aghartha" features waves of distortion, which gives way to unnerving spoken word growls from Attila, while the creeped out "Big Church" sees choirs, horns, and reeds battling it out against a backdrop of distorted riffs and walls of feedback. The most psychotic piece here has to be "Hunting & Gathering (Cydonia)", a brutal number featuring behemoth, Sabbath styled guitar dirges and Attila's gravelly vocalizations over gongs, horns and keyboards. Closing epic "Alice" is a spacey, ambient styled number that has Sci-Fi soundtrack written all over it.
Monoliths & Dimensions certainly won't be for everyone, but it's easily Sun O)))'s best release to date, and their most accessible, if you can call this sort of thing accessible. These are some nightmarish sounds, but it's oh so enjoyable if you give it a try.
1) Aghartha 17:34
2) Big Church 9:43
3) Hunting & Gathering (Cydonia) 10:02
4) Alice 16:20