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Album Review

Sunn O))) & Boris – “Altar ” – [Southern Lord Recordings]

Thurston Hunger   10/19/2006   A Library, CD

Dreamdoom dreamdate arranged by sonic matchmaker and Throned
one Joe Preston. This marries heaviness with…well…more
heaviness. Cavernous beyond belief at parts, but then hold
the phone…there’s a track with Jesse Sykes (from the Sweet
Hereafter, film/band) communing her ethereal country spirit
with these dark lords. That track, “The Sinking Belle” is
going to be a magnet, drawing some, but repelling others.
Piano wasn’t ghostly enough for me and drums down too much
in the mix, but hey they tried something, that’s cool. For
strange bedfolks part two – Soundgarden’s guitarist turns up
in the midst of the “Blood Swamp” an apocalyptic feedback
quagmire. “Fried Eagle Mind” has a nightmare lullabye feel,
gets more staticky as it progresses. Is the vocal incantation
on it from Wata, or did I just imagine it? The abrupt cold
ending is the scariest part of that track. For me, the
triumph here is Preston with the betrothed behemoths on
“Akuma No Kuma” (reference Boris’ fine “Akuma No Uta”). So
good, robotified vocals, deep bass dynamics a la Thrones.
This is an advanced single disc, there’s also a reckoning
to come with Earth’s Dylan Carlson on an epic 20+ power
drone…gotta track that down.

-Thurston Hunger

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