Posts Tagged ‘southern lord’

Album of the Day: Sunn O))) and Ulver – Terrestrials

Posted on Tuesday, February 4th, 2014

Lovingly pinched from Louder Than War: Sunn O))) can stake a rightful claim to being one of the most important metal bands of our time. Ever since they emerged out of Seattle in 1996 their releases and live shows have become the stuff of legend. They are both prolific and thought provoking in everything they do. Norway’s Ulver have moved from black metal merchants to chamber music composers extraordinaire in their storied career. They themselves have pushed their own boundaries as they sought to innovate and create.


This release was originally recorded in one night in 2008 as the bands created three live improvisation pieces. Over the next few years, Sunn O)))’s Stephen O’Malley chipped away at the improvisations in between Sunn O)))’s other work and 2014 now sees the release of one of the most hotly anticipated collaborations between two colossal bands.

The first of three compositions, ‘Let There Be Light’, shimmers gracefully through its opening sections. Intensity grows throughout the composition as the drone gets more concentrated with whispering brass that takes centre stage. As this builds, a drumbeat that rumbles and rolls for the final three minutes of the piece turns what started out as a graceful affair to an entirely unnerving place, like an uncomfortable violent scene from a film; each crash of the cymbals feels like the victim taking the next punch. An odd emotion for a composition with such a name, but then again, this isn’t a conventional collaboration between two conventional bands.

The second of the two compositions on the release is ‘Western Horn’. Immediately, the opening is far more sinister than its predecessor. The deeper tones of the austere bass are far more integral to the piece, as the spikes of feedback become more piercing and prominent. The whole composition builds an undeniably nervous tension that feels as if you are suspended in mid air and no one can hear or see you. A few picked guitar notes at the end offer some consolation of leaning towards a happy ending. ‘Western Horn’ is a masterful piece of musical anxiety.

Continue reading: Louder Than War: Sunn O))) and Ulver: Terrestrials – album review

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Album of the Day: Pelican – Forever Becoming

Posted on Sunday, November 24th, 2013

Lovingly pinched from ThisIsNotAScene: One always has expectations when listening to a new album by an established band for the first time. Chicago’s Pelican have a reputation for expansive oceans of sound that quite literally are the sound track to some gargantuan military like operation. On first hearing Forever Becoming […]

Album of the Day: Noothgrush/Coffins – Split LP

Posted on Sunday, November 17th, 2013

Lovingly pinched from Toxicbreed’s Funhouse: Here we have a split of absolutely epic proportions: the first new material from sludge powerhouse Noothgrush in over a decade, as well as two crushing contributions from Japanese death metal band Coffins, coming together to make up one of the most ludicrously heavy split […]

Album of the day: A Storm Of Light – Nations To Flames

Posted on Tuesday, September 17th, 2013

Lovingly pinched from Heavy Metal: Perhaps A Storm of Light mastermind Josh Graham is best known as the former visual artist for Neurosis, but the multi-talented Graham has now turned his focus exclusively to ASOL. Graham has taken everything he’s learned from previous experience and joined forces once again with […]

Album of the day: Nails – Abandon All Life

Posted on Tuesday, March 19th, 2013

Lovingly pinched from The Sleeping Shaman: Nails. Not often has a band been better named, this full-bore sludgy grindcore three-piece monstrosity is simply HARD AS NAILS. You may have come across them in 2010 as their Kurt Ballou-produced blunt force trauma of a debut album, Unsilent Death, got some pretty […]

Album of the day: The Secret – Agnus Dei

Posted on Monday, September 24th, 2012

Lovingly pinched from ThisIsNotAScene: Southern Lord just keeps rolling. This time they offer the fourth album by The Secret, Agnus Dei. No one can ever accuse Southern Lord of coloring inside the lines, in fact it seems at times they go out of their way to blacken everything outside of […]

Album of the day: Xibalba – Hasta La Muerte

Posted on Wednesday, August 29th, 2012

Lovingly pinched from The Sleeping Shaman: The adjective ‘brutal’, like many others (such as ‘monolithic’ and ‘crushing’), has been bandied around far too much for its own good. When a writer uses it to describe the sound of a band we are oft numb to its implications through overexposure. I’m […]

Album of the day: Eagle Twin – The Feather Tipped The Serpent’s Scale

Posted on Wednesday, August 8th, 2012

Lovingly pinched from Metal Review: Something I find very appealing about Utah’s Eagle Twin is the fact that there’s not another band currently kicking around that sounds quite like them. I’ve seen them lumped alongside a handful of other droning sludgers, which I suppose is fair, but this duo truly […]

Album of the day: Sleep – Dopesmoker (Deluxe Reissue)

Posted on Tuesday, June 19th, 2012

Lovingly pinched from The Sleeping Shaman: Oh come on. This review really is redundant before it’s even begun isn’t it? I mean, where does one begin when reviewing an album that is the very epitome of a genre of music that the band who created it helped define, an album […]

Why Stoner Legends Sleep Stole This Year’s Roadburn Festival; Performance Footage Available

Posted on Thursday, April 26th, 2012

Sleep stole this year’s festival by delivering a set on Roadburn‘s main stage that was equally crushing and utterly hypnotic. Given the festival’s proud history of consistently delivering the riff-filled goods, it says a lot that the 013 venue was on the verge of bursting at the seams that fateful […]