Monoliths & Dimensions
Aug 20, 2009 Web Exclusive
Fans get a known quantity with each new Sunn O))) record. Bowel-rumbling, droning guitars that plod along like continental plates; the official duo of Greg Anderson and Stephen O'Malley accompanied by a rotating cast of guest stars; a dependable amount of experimentation in the recording process; and so on.
Last year's Dømkirke captured the group playing a commissioned piece in the Dømkirken Cathedral in Bergen, Norway. What could possibly be more black, grim, dark, doom, etc. than venturing deep into Viking territory to musically evoke the Black Plague? Well, not much. Sunn O))) could easily have called it a day right there.
Thankfully, they didn't. The more Sunn O))) neglect their Earth-worshipping roots in favor of this sort of robe-wearing, avant-garde composer thing, the more interesting it gets. Dømkirke notoriously utilized that cathedral's pipe organ, a sound tailor-made for their doomy drones. Here on Monoliths, Sunn O))) take that many steps further, with a veritable orchestra of accompaniment: men's and women's choruses, strings, horns, woodwinds, conch shell, tubular bells, and then some. Each of the four tracks begins with trademark slabs of sludge, but by the end of the closer, "Alice," this is way more Arvo Pärt or Steve Reich than it is doom or drone metal. (www.ideologic.org)
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Average reader rating: 7/10
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