Sunn O)))) – Flight of the Behemoth (Southern Lord) 2002


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I love this doom metal/dark ambient stuff. No idea whether I’m supposed to take it seriously or not but I find the whole bowel loosening, hypnotic drone thing oddly comforting. The first two tracks on this meld into each other and are your classic Earth inspired power riffs on cough medicine. Behemoth like in fact. This, I think, was their third record and doesn’t have that whole horror-movie ooga-booga thing that they did so well on their Black One. Well at least not until the final track.

What makes this record a favourite is tracks 3 and 4 , )) Bow 1 and )) Bow 2. Sunn team up with Merzbow to do something pretty extraordinary. The first of these tracks starts with a ghostly honky tonk piano playing out of tune over a massive Sunn single tone drone and then the electronic fuckery courtesy of Mr Merzbow begins. The noise is pretty minimalist but adds a smack of menace to the track. It’s a cracker and must be one of the shortest Sunn tracks ever, coming in a touch under six minutes. The second of these tracks made me mildly nauseous. It churns and churns, the electronics co-opt the drone. It’s still obviously Sunn but brings the noise if you know what I mean. By the final track F.W.T.B.T. we’re back firmly in doom territory and it’s a pretty strong indicator where Sunn would end up on Black One. It’s the only track with vocals. Actually vocals is probably too fancy a word. Its the only track that has a demon gargling sulfur. That’s much better. Fuck there’s even some drums underneath the crushing riffs. This record is as good as White 2 and works equally well as a laxative.

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