Monoliths & Dimensions

Liste der Bands Drone Sunn O))) Monoliths & Dimensions
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Band Name Sunn O)))
Album Name Monoliths & Dimensions
Type Album
Erscheinungsdatum 05 Mai 2009
Musik GenreDrone
Mitglieder die dieses Album besitzen73


 Big Church (Megszentségteleníthetetlenségeskedéseitekért)
 Hunting & Gathering (Cydonia)

Total playing time: 53:40

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Review @ InfinityZero

09 Juni 2011

Not for everyone, but for those who understand it, it's an experience in innovation, power and sound with much to offer.

A blast of crushing guitars that drones on for infinity, creating an ethereal landscape of dark vibrations and macabre journies through black tunnels and endless voids is what Sunn O))) is and has been known for since their emergence from the most underground corner of metal in 1998. Many will hate this band, and understandably so, because their avant-garde approach to music and sound is somwthing that not many people will be able to comprehend. Certainly there is little to be found here in terms of technicality of speed, but Sunn O))) offers everything in terms of mood and atmosphere.

The band also proves how much variety can be brought to the table from such minimalism. Their career started a little rocky with not much variation between albums, but variety eventually came into their music, and that would be a precursor to Sunn O)))'s desire to innovate and shift their minimalistic music in many different directions. They've tried a lot of things over their career--utilizing jackhammers and drums in Belürol Pusztít, a long spoken poem in My Wall, different stacking effects and vocal effects on many songs, whirring church organs and gregorian chanting on Why Dost thou Hide Thyself in Clouds, and the list goes on.

However, never before has Sunn O))) been so adventurous as they were in their 2009 masterpiece, Monoliths and Dimensions. This is quite possibly the perfect album of atmosphere, and it's prefectly complemented with the addition of choir, string arrangements, a full orchestra including trumpets and tubas, and the whole nine yards. Even better is the fact that none of this ever feels pretentious, and I never get the sense that Sunn O))) was bullshitting themselves and making a pretentious album from lack of knowledge on how to arrange the extra musicians. They're all

Don't get me wrong, here--the album features all of what fans have come to expect from Sunn O))). ...That is, downtuned guitars creating a sonic soundscape that dominates speakers and shakes walls with the sheer downtuned ferocity and dark, brooding glory. The sound this album creates is something that isn't all auditory--when listened to on a large speaker system as oppsed to listening with headphones, it's something that's physical, too. It's bold and incredibly heavy, but it's not without substance. It's full of passion and life and reverberation. And not only that, but there's just that there's so much more to listen to on this album besides the brutal guitars, and so much more to experience and feel with the music. The feeling of being sucked into an abyss or riding an elevator down to hell is as present as ever, especially with Attila Csihar's ominous and otherworldly vocals gurgling, growling and roaring with the conundrum. His low moaning voice in the opener, Aghartha is the perfect mood-setter, and the lyrics paint a picture of exactly what is felt when listening to the music:

"thunderous resonant sounds call from beyond the depths
and the winds of gravity change,
in memories of the consciousness of the ancient rocks,
nature's answer to the eternal question"

Another great thing in this album is that there's always something unexpected that rises out of the auditory-depth charge of droning guitars. There's always another layer working in the background, swirling out of the speakers like smoke. The ghostly choir in Big Church mingling with the clean-played guitar chords sends shivers up my spine every time. The dropoff at the end of Alice from dark guitars to soft fluttering orchestra brings the listener to terms is beautifully haunting. The sound of boards creaking and water trickling in Aghartha near the end is incredible non-instrumental ambience. This is without a doubt Sunn O)))'s most invigorating and adventurous album to date, and it shows much potential for further expansion into the abysmal world of crushing drone. If you want to buy a Sunn O))) album out of any kind of itching interest, buy this one if you can. It has the most to offer anyone, and it's great for repeat listenings because there's always something else to concentrate on that you may not have picked up on first listen.

This music is not rocket science. It isn't technically flashy, it isn't an easily-digestible wave of music, and it defenitely is not an experience for everyone. But be sure that is is most defenitely an experience. It's an experience in sound and reverb and raw, primal atmosphere, and very few bands come close to giving off such a heavy sound. I recommend this to anyone who wants to get into drone or any other form of avant-garde. I think the track Aghartha is probably the hardest to get into on here, but as for the other three, they're much more accessible--at least, as accessible as drone can be. It'd be impossible for me to chose one favorite song here, as everything in this album blends so well. It needs to be sat through from beginning to end, and any one song taken out of the mix would take from the total journey. I suppose if someone twisted my arm about the favorite song, I'd settle on either Alice or Aghartha, but it's really hard for me to pick, because no song is weaker than the one before it. If you're new to the drone vibe and new to the scene and the music, I think Big Church would be your best bet, as it is the shortest song (nine minutes) and it has a great 'epic' theatrical vibe to it that I think would be easiest to associate with if you feel lost when listening to the other tracks. Though I know that some people don't like this type of thing and never, ever will, trust me when I say that there really is something behind this type of music. It isn't just plotless noise that goes nowhere. I hope this review has been able to somewhat justify that.

4 Kommentare

1 Like

miniradman - 11 Juni 2011: Nice!

(I had a big WTF moment when I read the 2nd track's title)
Mercenarion - 11 Juni 2011: ^ It means (in Hungarian) "For your repeated incapabilities of having been 'unholified'
Deconsecration perhaps is the opposite of oneness in a sacred sense".
miniradman - 12 Juni 2011: That just raises more questions than answers, hahaha!
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