26 05 2009
25 05 2009

SUNN O))) vs Prater/Berlin





23 05 2009

Aquarius Records on Monoliths & Dimensions

SUNN O))) "Monoliths and Dimensions" (Southern Lord) cd 15.98
The first thing we thought when we threw this on, was, man, it's gonna be pretty tough to top Domkirke. The last SUNNO))) release, vinyl only, found the duo of Greg Anderson and Stephen O'Malley recording their low end Earth worshipping drone symphonies in an actual cathedral, incorporating the cathedral's church organ. Hard to imagine anything heavier.
For Monoliths and Dimensions, the duo drafted in all sorts of extra help. The usual suspects sure, Attila Csihar on vocals, guitarist Oren Ambarchi, but also, a veritable orchestra, French horns, violas, piano, hydrophone, English Horn, Conch Shell, double bass, and that's just on album opener "Aghartha", which on first listen sounds like the SUNNO))) of old, all churning low end, slow motion glacial riffage, but as the track progresses, the heavy riffage peels back, revealing, a sea of moaning horns, Csihar's haunting intoned vocals, creaks and groans, and the actual sound of water (the hydrophone?), eventually getting super abstract and minimal, before fading out completely.
"Big Church" featues four guitarists (Ambarchi, O'Malley, Anderson and Earth's Dylan Carlson) as well as trombone, trumpet, organ, tubular bells and a choir!!! The choir giving the track a definite Arvo Part vibe, haunting and choral, drifting ethereally over the slow burning rumble of the multiple guitars, before locking into a strangely melodic almost slowcore creep.
"Hunting & Gathering (Cydonia)" featueres yet another expanded lineup, this time including a "Man choir", the track begins all standard doom, crushing lugurbrious riffage, growled gurgeled vokills, but the man choir's deep haunting chant adds a whole other dimension, creating a sort of choral doom hybrid, much like the other track, but this one remains much darker and heavier.
Finally, the record closes with Alice, this time with horns AND strings, and the song that probably is most responsible for describing this record as "SUNNO))) with strings". It starts out all woozy and twangy like some nineties slowcore jam, except for the Morricone-ish horn swells, the guitar crunches few and far between, the sound quite spare and skeletal, and weirdly enough, downright pretty, a shuffling slow motion drift, the whole thing surprisingly melodic, and spacious, quite possibly one of the loveliest (and most unlikely) SUNNO))) tracks yet.
SUNNO))) have done wonders with their limited sonic pallete, who would have thought a one time Earth cover band would have survived this long, and resulted in such an impressive body of original work, but the group have grown and expanded and explored, they manage to incorporate all manner of sounds and textures and guest players, to realize their ultimate vision, while somehow keeping the core sound intact. We only just got this in, and we've been listening to it like crazy (which should tell you something), and the more we hear it, the more we dig it, especially that last track. Quickly becoming one of our fave SUNNO))) discs...
Incredible packaging as always. Deluxe booklet, exquisitely designed, with lyrics, lineups, diagrams, photos, illustrations, some of the pages vellum, all housed in a transparent printed vellum slipcover.

23 05 2009

The Count is a free man


Varg Vikernes on trial
Released after nearly 16 years in prison.

(Dagbladet.no): - I can confirm that I soon released, "said Vikernes told Dagbladet.

In September last year he received the rejection of his fourth application for parole from Kriminal care, but for a couple weeks ago he was pleased the message he has long waited for. After almost 16 years in prison, release him now out.

But he is not interested to comment on when this happens.

Moves to Telemark
- I have to report in one year. Each fourteenth day the first time, then once a month, "said Vikernes, who believes that there is something good out of sitting in prison.

He has the last couple years has been the so-called open prison in Tromsø.

Vikernes was after verdict (21 years) from 1994, was on parole in 2006, but due to a new law that came in 2002 - he got two more years.

Relieved mom
In last summer went Vikernes his mother hard in Dagbladet and believed Kriminal care deliberately tried to destroy her son.

Now she is very relieved.

- I am very happy that he has been so strong and persevered. It will be good for the family that they can be together every day, "she says.

36-year-old will live on a small farm in Telemark, where his wife and their eighteen-year-old son has lived the last years.

Ready for the community
- I have barely seen my son since he came to the world. Although I hear his voice on the phone almost every day, it is very tough and not be present when he grows up. I miss my family. And I look forward the day that I can work on the farm, make music, write books and be with your wife and kids around the clock - and live a normal life as a family, said Vikernes to Dagbladet last summer.

Asked whether he feels ready for the community, he responded:

- I'm ready for society - it has been for many years. I have learned from my mistakes and become older. Now I just want to be with my family. My mind has never been in prison.

Vikernes, also known as "Count", was 16. May 1994 sentenced to 21 years in prison for murder of Øystein Aarseth and to have burned down Åsane church in Bergen, Skjold Church in the world and Holmenkollen Chapel in Oslo - and the attempts of arson in the Big Tveit Church in Bergen.

From Dagbladet.no

20 05 2009



WHEN's Homage Series Vol. I: A mixtape/mashup feast in tribute to brilliant bandleader, pianist, mystic and philosopher SUN RA. A legend in his own right [this is WHEN's 13th (!) album in 25 years], Lars Pedersen samples, cuts, loops, adds, twists and turns the universe of legendary jazz-brother from planet no. 6 inside out.

20 05 2009

Monoliths & Dimensions album of the week on Boomkat!


In addition to re-establishing links with regular co-conspirators like Attila Csihar and Earth's Dylan Carson, this seventh SunnO))) album finds Stephen O'Malley and Greg Anderson greatly expanding their sound with personnel from beyond their usual circle of doom-dealing metallurgists. Julian Priester (a veteran of Sun Ra, John Coltrane and Herbie Hancock recordings) joins composer Eyving Kang alongside brass, reed and string ensembles and a Viennese female choir in embellishing the usual idiom of low frequency drones and glacial guitar motions, adding a whole other dimension to the band's sonic vocabulary.

On the introductory piece 'Aghartha' the baritone incantations of Csihar collide with grinding guitar pulsations and a maelstrom of orchestral discord that takes hold of the second half. It's an incredibly powerful sound, but one that SunnO))) are brave to embrace. Metal purists might be put off somewhat by the modern classical approach, but in truth it integrates with the band's music completely fluidly.

Even more ambitious is 'Big Church' which aims for a kind of subversion of Arvo Part-style sacred music, setting satanic Orff-like choral allusions against the usual bottom-heavy razor-edged riffing. The contrast between deathly guitar duels and the tightly organised choir is a powerful one, adding a dark, ceremonial feel to proceedings.

Presenting a more solid and familiarly savage sound is 'Hunting & Gathering (Cydonia)', which although no less well-constructed or vast in scale avoids the orchestral dynamics for its ten minutes. Final piece 'Alice' comes as the biggest surprise though, and you can actually hear a certain amount of light and clarity radiating from the mix: the guitars chime and twang with an uncommon freshness while string swells mark out austere, ambiguous chord changes - by the time the horns arrive you actually detect an implicit 'major key' feel to it all and the sixteen-minute piece plays out like a reluctant fanfare, subsiding into an incredibly light coda populated by harps, trumpet and glistening percussion but no guitars.

Monoliths & Dimensions is undoubtedly a bold move for SunnO))) but the intensity and sonic adventurousness on show here are qualities that are very much in-keeping with the band's ceaselessly uncompromising music policy. Awesome.

20 05 2009

Aghartic texts


20 05 2009





Hot off Nomad's press.
We'll also have the previously broadcast Gas MaskZipperhoodie, and the classic SUNNRat tshirt... amongst LPs, cassettes, M&D, etc.

19 05 2009



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