Album Review

Sunn O))) – “Monoliths & Dimensions” – [Southern Lord Recordings]

abacus   4/4/2012   A Library, CD

Another mushrooming project from Stephen O’Malley and Greg Anderson with some extensive collaborations from folks from Mayhem’s Attila Csihar, Oren Ambarchi and Earth’s Dylan Carlson to Eyvind Kang, Julian Priester and Daniel Menche. Here the dealers of darkness combine with chamber ensemble and female/male choirs all under the arrangements of Kang to delve into the most blasphemous of all musical forms: harmony and melody. If you’re afraid that means this is the Sunn O))) pop album, you’re probably right; however if you felt that their previous material needed a wider variety of dynamics and textures, then this album is definitely for you! You still get the bellowing bass doom we’re all familiar with (trks 1,3) complete with tectonic incantations from Csihar, but we also see here classical forays with female choir recitations (2) and flowery horn arrangements (3,4). They use the track lengths to erode away each piece, the strings and synth like a fungi feeding off the decrepit reverberations and blossoming into entirely new entities, where horns shine heavenly light on what was once a fiery void feeding new life blood into the once rotted host.

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