Welcome to the musical meandering insights of Aaron Joy. Here you'll find 600 reviews of CDs & DVDs of rock & metal in all its variations, mainstream & indie. What they all share is that the album or band is unique in some way & not every submission was reviewed. Please share these reviews or link to them if you like what you read. Reviews are no longer being posted here but feel free to e-mail Aaron & post comments. (Formerly the Roman Midnight Music Blog) (last update 5/23/2017)

February 20, 2010

Sunn 0))) & Boris ~ Altar

(Click on heading to visit official website.)
Style: experimental, drone metal
Label: Southern Lord
Year: 2006
Home: Seattle/Tokyo, Japan

Stephen O'Malley ~ guitars/keyboards
Greg Anderson ~ guitars/bass/keyboard
Atsuo ~ drums
Wata ~ guitars/vocals
Takeshi ~ bass/guitars

Additional: Dylan Carlson ~ guitar
Tos Nieuwenhuizen, Rex Ritter ~ organ
Bill Herzog ~ bass/drums
Adrienne Davies ~ percussion
Steve Moore ~ trombone
TOS Nieuwenhuizen, Troy Swanson, Randall Dunn, Mell Dettmer, Troy Swanson ~ keyboards
Eyvind Kang ~ violin

Guests: Phil Wandscher, Jesse Sykes ~ vocals
Joe Preston ~ vocoder
Kim Thayil ~ guitar
Rex Ritter ~ keyboard

If you haven’t heard of Sunn O))) you probably don’t read many rock mags, cause it’s hard to forget their name (pronounced /sun/) and all in the music news. Or, you might have seen pictures of them on stage where they dress like monks with guitars...also unforgettable. This Seattle duo is attempting to redefine heavy metal, which for them is not blistering guitar solos & double bass...of which neither is on any of their CDs. Labeled the leaders of experimental drone metal with tuned low droning guitars played super slow & heavy on feedback, sans lyrics, rhythm, riffs or drumming, think Lou Reed’s Metal Machine Music, but far more listenable. Out of pure curiosity I listened to these guys...and this cat wasn’t killed. They’re addictive & really do prove that heavy isn’t in riffs but in sounds & feeling & I've been quite inspired by them. Altar is a collaboration with Japanese doom group Boris, with guests including Soundgarden’s Kim Thayil & Melvin’s Joe Preston. This is a great starting point for the curious as it has a bit more variety in the texture than other Sunn 0))) recordings. This is heavy. No doubt. Sabbath heavy at times even. Metalheads pay attention!

(originally written for the Roman Midnight Music newsletter Issue 3, Feb 2010, unchanged for blog)

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