Introduction and Sunn O))) – White2 Review

This is “Music For The Rest Of Us”, providing you with opinions on unique music, as well as providing support for musicians I find interesting and/or unique, as well as the many excellent blogs who further support their work in various ways. There is music for the masses, and you know only too well what those acts are. Then there is music for the rest of us. Enjoy.

This first review, please forgive if it is a little ponderous; I wrote it some time ago and lately I have not had much time to revise it. Eventually, I will put it in “normal people language”, but for now, here is my review of the Sunn O))) album “White2”:

Hell-O)))-Ween: A lumbering beast of a ‘song’, “Hell-O)))-Ween” is nothing fancy: simpy Sunn O)))’s tried and true bass assault. Song progression is extremely slow, look for the first noticeable deviation around the half-way mark. However, this is nothing to remark against it, as the slow progression allows for even more guitar harmonics and distortion to come creeping into the mix.

bassAliens: While your ears are still ringing from the first song, bassAliens opens with unidentifiable dripping noises, soft washes of ambience, and mournful guitar pickings. This song gives credit to Sunn O)))’s claim of being “power ambience”, as the song is very unsettling and abstract. The song definitely has an ‘alien atmosphere’ about it, as soon odd mechanical noises, buzzes, and hum throb intermitantly, while occasionaly bass stabs shatter the uncertain calm with bursts of noise that sound somewhat like radio interference. Also important is that, in many parts of the song, the high end is just as punishing as the low. Everything but the kitchen sink (and drums and vocals) seems to be in here…

Decay2 [Nihil’s Maw]: If you were to guess this would be a song based on destruction, sin, and death, you would be absolutely correct! While (like the previous track) there is very little riffage in this track, it exudes malevolence from every pore. Opening with high-pitched squeals and heavy ambient wind, it ‘soon’ emerges with vocals (from Mayhem vocalist Attila Csihar) taken from the Shrimad Bhagavatam, a portion of the Indian Veda: one of the world’s oldest religious texts (indeed one of the earliest recorded texts in human history as well). Growled, whispered, and grimly intoned, the vocals deal with humanity’s decline during the Kali-Yuga (the final age of humanity before the cleansing of the Earth). It is a powerful and medatiative piece, incredible even for Sunn O))) standards.

Overall Review:
Like much of doom/drone music, Sunn O))) is one of those projects where you either ‘get it’ or you do not. Even with only three songs, “White2” is an impressive album, completely uninhibited by commercial tendencies, with a refreshingly new concept and execution. Highly reccomended, especially for those new to the group.

NOTE: Edited from the previous version. Removed the now unneccesary over-explanation at the introduction of the blog.

Ideologic (SOMA)
Southern Lord Records

~ by John Lithium on September 14, 2006.

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