20 08 2004
#394

Thank you Brainwashed

Found this on Brainwashed.com

SUNN O))), "WHITE 2"
Southern Lord
Masters of the stomach-churning, intestine-voiding, subharmonic frequencies, Steven O'Malley and Greg Anderson return for a sequel to last year's impressive White 1, not surprisingly entitled White 2. Much has been made of Anderson and O'Malley's transmogrification and mutation of their Nordic black metal influences into the slow-motion, doom-laden minimalism of their recordings as Sunn O))). Never mind that it isn't a very original idea, having previously been put forth by Seattle ambient sludge-core band Earth. Listen to the track "Ripped on Fascist Ideas" from Earth's live album Sunn Amps and Smashed Guitars for the origin of Sunn O)))'s sonic palette. To their credit, however, Sunn O))) have relentlessly pursued this aesthetic, going several steps further with their use of variable-speed tape mutations and other synthetic technology to create the lowest low-end feasible, with the possible exception of that lowrider that cruises through my neighborhood in the middle of the night blasting bone-rattling Miami bass. On White 2, they choose not to repeat the guest-vocalist tactics of the first White album, in favor of creating three lengthy, horror movie soundscapes that willfully test the limits of the stereo playback system, even as they revel in fascinatingly tangible textures. Although they approach their compositions from a completely different perspective, Sunn O))) arrive in the same general "dark ambient" territory as Lustmord or Lull, spinning vaguely cinematic post-industrial abstractions in which mood is the primary attraction. The fourteen doom-laden minutes of "Hell-O)))-Ween" are the most prototypical of the band: a series of brutally plodding riffs that are allowed to reverberate, slowly building up compounding layers distortion and bass rumble like slowly coagulating amber dripping down a prehistoric tree. It's crushing and dowtrodden, but it's nothing compared to the next two epic tracks of desolation and fear. "bassAliens" explores the lonely, claustrophobic corners just out of sight on Ridley Scott's Nostromo, haunted by the faint specter of menace, distorted subharmonic rumbles that sputter and mutate, spewing foul plumes of hydrochloric acid. What's remarkable about this track is the effective usage of higher-frequency tones and midrange atmospheric guitar plonks, which, juxtaposed with the jarring bass rumbles, create a vivid sound environment unmatched on Sunn O)))'s previous records. The album concludes with the 25-minute epic "Decay 2 (Nihil's Maw)," where Anderson and O'Malley are joined by legendary Mayhem vocalist Attila Csihar for a frightening peak into the void. Listening to this track on an expensive pair of headphones is like staring into the empty, yawning chasm of oblivion, a screaming hole that sucks up sound and life itself. Dislocated from any recognizable sound source other than Csihar's multi-layered growls, shrieks and Odinic chants, a listener has no choice but to float towards the soul-shredding epicenter of the black hole, where ancient demonic forces gather and align to prepare for the final descent to zero. - Jonathan Dean
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Awesome! Nihils' Maw magnet drags again.

For the record SUNN have NEVER used any tape speed tricks on our records, everything is 100% authentic tone wise, and we pride ourselves in that. The only exception is the start of FOTB where we play the tape machine starting up.... to normal speed.

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