Sun O))) - Black One - 2005 - Southern Lord Records
1. Sin Nanna 2. It Took the Night to Believe 3. Cursed Realms (Of the Winterdemons) 4. Orthodox Caveman 5. Candle Goat 6. Cry for the Weeper 7. Báthory Erzsébet
California’s Sunn O))) is a very interesting ambient/doom metal band made up of Greg Anderson and Stephen O’Malley. Each of these guitar wizards have years of experience in various other notable bands, such as Khanate and Thorr’s Hammer. With Sunn O))) they have pushed the limits of extreme music to almost breaking point. This kind of metal is barely listenable, and to call it “enjoyable” would not be at all accurate. Instead, listening to Sunn O))) can only be described as a painful yet rewarding experience.
Since Sunn O))) don’t possess enough members to properly round off an album, several guest appearances are made by various artists, most notably Malefic of Xasthur on vocals, guitar, and keyboard. This combination of Anderson, O’Malley, Malefic, and several others has resulted in nothing short of the sheer aural destruction that “Black One” brings forth. Songs of epic lengths such as “Cursed Realms (Of the Winterdemons)” and “Báthory Erzsébet” are frighteningly painful to listen to at times, not because they are bad but because of the extreme amount of intensity that Sunn O))) emits with their music. Ambient effects and noises in other tracks, such as “Cry for the Weeper” are at times merely psychedelic – as they become more pronounced the listener’s head may threaten to explode.
Metal fans – BEWARE! “Black One” is not for the faint of heart. Only the listeners with the strongest resolve, both physical and mental, will be able to handle this album. Personally, I couldn’t listen to it for over a week after first listening to it due to that fact that on my first listen I was simply overwhelmed. After a few days and a few spins, however, Sunn O)))’s music will implant itself into your consciousness, and you won’t be sorry that it’s there. This album transcends the dimension which we humans inhabit (save Anderson and O’Malley); therefore, mere numbers and rating out of ten do not apply to it. But I will leave my readers with this – it may be because either our brains require Sunn O))) to live, or Sunn O)) must feed on our thoughts to survive, but “Black One” is a necessity for your collection. Just mentally prepare for a week or two before purchasing.
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