Sunn O))) / Boris - _Altar_
(Southern Lord, 2006)
by: T. DePalma (4.5 out of 10)
A year ago I was eagerly looking forward to Sunn's tour in support of _Black One_, only to be locked out of the city by a metro-transportation strike. It was unfortunate, because as cynical as one may be about their branch recording output, the group's aesthetics are geared for the impromptu moment; and having already witnessed the might that paternal influence Earth could deliver on stage, I still remain in anticipation of their return. But whatever is written about the music's frequency or perceived physiology, they are still bound by merchandising and the mass-manufacturing of their creations -- each distinctly more contained on disc, but none more structurally different in effect than this.

_Altar_ joins the duo completely with Japan's Boris, whose star is equally on the rise. Adulation that's come well past both faction's prime; both the physicality of Sunn's energy wave chord progressions and Boris' thundering, if generic, rock 'n' stomp is lost in the translation. Walls are built and crumble one after the other. The disc is less of an imaginary gateway than a study-group with Anderson and O'Malley's answering some very wink and nudge percussion (a gong vibrates outward to underline everything shitty about the so-called "art metal" scene; the deconstruction moves along with several more literal rim shots) all under a dimly lit "lounge" type ambience. Also donning the robes are Joe Preston of Thrones, impressing via imperial mammoth orchestra and sci-fi vox in "Akuma no Kuma ", Soundgarden's Kim Thayil, and Jesse Sykes (The Sweet Hereafter) who gives an ominous, Blue-Velvety performance on "The Sinking Belle".


(article published 14/10/2006)

10/19/2005 T DePalma 6.5 Sunn O))) - Black One
6/16/2004 X Hoose 6 Sunn O))) - The Libations of Samhain
3/13/2001 P Schwarz 9 Sunn O))) - OO Void
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