Archive for the Doom Category

Slomo – The Bog (Important) 2008

Posted in Doom, Drone, Music, Slomo with tags , , , on April 7, 2013 by noisenoisenoise


Now here is a band that should be much more well known than they are. Towards the end of last year they released their new record The Grain and when I found out, well – let’s just say that I was pretty excited. You see Slomo have released two of my favourite records – 2005’s The Creep and The Bog which came out on Important in 2008. Since then though, nothing, absolutely fuck all until now  of course. But first I think  The Bog is worth bringing to people’s attention. I reckon it may be  one of the strangest things that Important ever  released. Slomo are a duo from England who specialise in a slow moving, doom/ambient/creepy vibe – think what it would sound like if Mike Connelly asked Steven O’Malley to help out on a Failing Lights record. The band describe their sound as highly ritualised glumbient. I love the term glumbient but it may not quite encapsulate how sinister the music can be. The album itself is a  one hour long meditation in blackened dreamscapes and the threat of the unseen. I don’t listen to that much doom or black metal anymore but The Bog has been something I have gone back to  again and again. If you stumble over a copy on your travels it might just be worth picking up.

Locrian & Christoph Heemann – S/T (Handmade Birds) 2012

Posted in Christoph Heemann, Doom, Drone, Locrian, Music with tags , , , , on October 16, 2012 by noisenoisenoise

Here are two artists I don’t know a lot about. I knew about Heemann from his collaboration with Merzbow and work with Nurse With Wound and the Chicago duo Locrian have made a previous  appearance on this site with their Rain of Ashes record. Before listening to this record I kind of knew that Locrian mined a drone metal sort of sound palette. That sort of sound  feels very stale to me now. The  number of submissions I receive from bands who still play it have not instilled me with a great deal of confidence that there is anyone thinking freshly about metal in a drone  context. When this arrived I was in two minds whether I would listen to it but I did and I’m glad I did. This is a truly great record. It is also a pretty difficult sound to pin down.  There is a shit load going on on this records four lengthy tracks. The first track Hecatomb is one of my favourite pieces of music mright now. It’s roots are obviously firmly in a drone metal context yet it is the injection of Necks style piano and  a feeling of improvised abandon with the guitars which lend the music an open, expansive feel. The second track lifts its skirts to reveal its blackened metal soul whilst the third track Edgeless City is an excursion through ambient drone with a sinister edge that gradually becomes much more oppressive.The final track, The Drowned Forest sees the artists getting their inner druid on for some ritualistic vocal action which become more intense as it progresses. It’s strangely beautiful and overwhelming all at once.

2012 has seen some excellent collaborations and split LP’s. Swanson and Shiflet, Dilloway and Lescalleet, Shiflet and Panzner, Blankenship and Reed have all produced amazing records this year. Add this too the pile.  This record has restored my faith in  bleak metal.

Hypsiphrone – And The Void Shall Pierce Their Eyes (Black Plagve) 2011

Posted in Doom, Hypsiphrone, metal, Music with tags , , , on February 19, 2012 by noisenoisenoise

I haven’t listened to a Dark Ambient record or some time. But when this little ripper showed up from Malignant Records sub-label, Black Plagve I thought,just based on its title alone, it was worth a spin. One of the first mistakes I made was to read the press release which spoke of virgins bathing on their own blood and other such crap that I have absolutely no fucking interest in. Does anyone actually write this crap without giggling to themselves? The fact is that what is done here is excellent but creation of  a lame mythology detracts from the greatness of many of these tracks. I’m probably the wrong guy to review this because black metal imagery is always funny to me yet I like to wallow in some dark/black/death ambient/metal records from time to time. I’m no expert but if you like Sunn O)))’s Black One or anything by Lustmord then this will be right up your alley.

Hypsiphrone is a one  guy project from Greece and this record  is pretty consistently great. Lots of evil wails and hammer-horror neo gothic death metally goodness with wonderfully absurd  titles. It’s fun though probably not in the way Hypsiphrone meant. There is one dud track on this and that is a track which begins about half way through which cuts up media broadcasts about necrophilia. How fucking transgressive. Why it is actually on this is a bit of a mystery and kind of made me angry. It’s inclusion just felt that he was trying a bit too hard. But hey, Mamuthones made one of my favourite records in recent times and the initial track on that sucks. It happens and shouldn’t be fatal to you buying this.

You can pick this up from the excellent Malignant Records site.

Nadja – Touched (Alien 8 Records) 2007

Posted in Doom, Drone with tags , , , on July 25, 2010 by noisenoisenoise

Nadja are a duo of Aiden Baker and Leah Buckereff. This version of Touched is a re-recording of their debut CD with an untitled track as an added extra. I haven’t really dabbled with Nadja too much because, well have a look at their Discogs page, they’re more prolific than Merzbow. Nadja’s is a sound I return to from time to time – a compelling intersection of doom metal, post rock, drone and dark ambience. It’s like Sunn O))) and Mogwai jammed over some heroin and decided to record the output. This is a big sound,  which is unsurprising given that it was mastered by Khanates James Plotkin. When I play it I really enjoy it and doom is  really the only metal I can listen to without laughing. If you love that sound then this is a great example of it.

Sunn O))) – Grimmrobe Demos (Southern Lord) 2000

Posted in Doom, Music, Sunn on January 16, 2010 by noisenoisenoise

This is the first record that Sunn O))) put out and if you are looking for a record that captures the purity of the style of subsonic bass frequencies and riff after riff of doom metal then this is the perfect place to start. But to committed Sunn O))) fans this  doesn’t hold the same interest as other Sunn O))) records and if I was to advise you  to start anywhere I highly recommend White 2 and White 1. Black One is also great but by that stage their sound had starting incorporating more black metal elements. Flight of the Behemoth is still my favourite though. The stuff with Merzbow is still some of my favourite music out there. This isn’t the Sunn O))) record to rush out to buy if you are new to the band because it was always really meant to be a demo. It still rocks but there are other Sunn O))) records that are a bit more satisfying.

Khanate – Clean Hands Go Foul (Hydra Head) 2009

Posted in Doom, Music, Sunn on August 15, 2009 by noisenoisenoise


Just how many bands has Stephen O’Malley been in? Khanate first crossed my radar a couple of years ago when I picked up their self titled debut to supplement my knowledge of doom. At the time it was a little too much metal and a little less doom than what I was looking for. Over the years that record has grown on me and when I saw this get released I was pretty keen to hear it. The thing about this record is I had trouble figuring out whether it was some collection of out takes, demo tracks or what because depending on what you read the band broke up somewhere between 2004 and 2006. I’m not sure when these were recorded or why it took so long to release them. Again depending on what you read this is either the third or fourth proper Khanate record.

The thing about Khanate is that if you are looking for the full on monster riff doom expereince of Sunn O))) then you are going to be disappointed. The metal that Khanate produced is a highly dissonant version of black metal but trending toward the artier end. The screamed guttural howls of the lead singer are actually understandable which is nice and the music some across as an intelligent version of Tortoise had they burnt down a Swedish church and fucked a goat on occaison. It’s certainly not easy listening but for those looking for a less campy, more cerebral black metal experience, this may be it.

Black Boned Angel – Verdun (Riot Season) 2009

Posted in Birchville Cat Motel, Black Boned Angel, Doom, Music, New Zealand Bands with tags , , , , , on July 21, 2009 by noisenoisenoise


As some of you may know, Campbell Kneale, Mr Birchville Cat Motel himself hung up his feline moniker at the end of last year to focus on his new project Our Love will Destroy The World. The good news is that his side project Black Boned Angel continues to go on strongly. I was a huge fan of his BCM project yet had never dabbled with  Campbell’s drone-metal project, Black Boned Angel, a trio of Wellington musicians which includes James Kirk and Jules Desmond.. Fuck knows why really because I absolutely loved BCM’s Bird Sister Blasphemy. This, the band’s latest release on the awesome Riot Season, is an absolute gem. In fact it may be one of the finest doom records I have ever heard. The album itself lists three tracks but they are pressed as one continuous track. The titles references the battle of Verdun during World War One which claimed 250 000 lives. The thing I find interesting about the title is how tragic, military misadventures are a huge feature of schooling in the Antipodes and battles such as Gallipoli are etched into the psyche of most Australians and New Zealanders. Our understanding of  war is sober, without glory and critical of the folly of war.  In listening to Verdun it makes sense that the conflict is scored through crunching Sunn O))) riffs and futile drones. What lifts this above your average drone record is the addition of an operatic chorus belting out Wagnerian funereal hymns underneath the wall of crushing guitars. The effect is magic and somehow a natural fit for the horror that was Verdun. This record comes across a lot like Gorecki’s Misere on steroids. Riot Season are only releasing 1000 copies of this and you’d be smart to get one before they sell out.  One of the best albums of 2009 so far.

Sunn O))) – Monoliths and Dimensions (Southern Lord) 2009

Posted in Doom, Sunn with tags , , on June 5, 2009 by noisenoisenoise


I’ve been hanging out for this for some time because nothing says happiness like a slab of doom laden black metal. This is their first proper album in yonks, since I think Black One if I’m not mistaken (I don’t think  you can count Oracle because that was tracks developed for an art piece rather than an album proper). I was actually going into my local record store to buy Isis’s Oceanic and fuck me if this wasn’t sitting in the rack below. It made my week and after a couple of spins its time to post on it.

You know its Sunn O))) so it’s bound to be good but I wasn’t expecting this. There are four tracks in all. The first and third are your typical Sunn O))) power riffs and the first one had Atilla talking about some underground city or such nonsense in his best creepy voice. They haven’t been this much fun since My Wall on White 1. Fun but sinister of you know what I mean. Maybe it is a bit vaudeville for many tastes but I’m  a sucker for this type of thing so bring it on I say. The second track is called Big Church and it features a choir, a fucking CHOIR I tell you. More Gorecki Misere than Mormon Tabernacle if you are worried that the sound of a choir is completely lame. Totally different to anything they’ve done before I reckon but the final expectation destroying clusterfuck happens on the final track. It starts off as a typical doom track and then fuck me! a fucking trumpet wails and suddenly your listening to jazz. I thought my ipod had fucked up but seriously the most divine jazz track I’ve heard in some time (which isn’t that profound because the only jazz I listen to is The Necks) leaks our of my headphones. To say that Sunn O))) don’t do the same thing twice might be the fucking understatement of the year. If you’re looking for the windswept-tundra-in-hell vibe of Black One you are certainly not going to find it here. Sunn O))) let the light in and it’s a cracking good listen.

Chord – Flora (Neurot) 2009

Posted in Doom, Drone, Music with tags , , , on May 8, 2009 by noisenoisenoise


One of the  strange things about having this blog is that from time to time people send me stuff to listen to. Some of the records I get are OK, some mind bendingly awful and some absolutely rock my world. I don’t post on the ones I think suck or are OK because this blog is mainly about records I like and I’m sure people don’t send me crap so I can slag off their hard work. If I’m not a fan of a record that’s been sent to me I usually  send a note to the person telling them it just wasn’t my thing. 99% of the records I post on here I’ve paid for. I don’t believe in downloading because quite frankly I think artists and musicians deserve to be paid for their efforts. 

So anyway a couple of weeks ago a bloke called Phil emailed me and said that he’d like to send me a copy of his new record and hey, I’m keen to hear different things so gladly accepted his offer. From past experience I’m never particularly hopeful I’m going to like what’s being sent but fuck me if this record hasn’t floored me. Flora is absolute fucking godhead. Chord are a quartet of musicians floating around the Chicago scene. Probably the best know of them is Trevor de Brauw of doom metal/postrock powerhouses Pelican. To explain what Chord does I lifted this from the Neurot website:

CHORD performances consist of each player being assigned one note from a pre-selected chord. They are then expected to consider all ranges of flexibility concerning octave, rhythm, playing style and effect treatments. The overall effect CHORD generates is that of a single note being rendered into an unsolvable riddle – a harmonic Gordian knot that creates an almost pastoral feel of being blinded by the sun. The rejection of melody and structure in favor of sweeping and epic tones inspires a sense of rousing apprehension. Shrouded in the individual tunings of each player the pieces never become diluted, instead finding resolution in collective dissonance and consonance. To be in the presence of chord achieved is transcendent.  

So there you go. I might add that Chord is every drone nerd’s wet dream. Not simply because of that transcendent buzz we all get off on, but because Chord seem to have developed a graceful tension between Doom metal, drone and a more ambient space without ever descending into the cheese that defines most current post-rock. Every time I listen to this I’m kind of sad that it has to end.  Beautiful, sad, blissful and at times, menacing. If you’ve enjoyed Emeralds,  Daniel Menche  or the more ambient ends of doom, Chord may well be your new favourite band. 

KTL – KTL (Editions MEGO) 2006

Posted in Doom, Drone, Music, noise, Sunn with tags , on December 7, 2008 by noisenoisenoise

Kindertotenleider (Songs on the Death of Children) was a song cycle for orchestra and voice based on the  poems of Ruckert. Ruckert wrote his poems in the early 19th century after two of his children died within 16 days of each other. KTL (an abbreviation) is the band put together by Stephen O’Malley of Sunn O))) and Peter Rehberg aka Pita the experimental electronic musician. As cheery as that premise is, KTL might have created the benchmark in ambient black metal. Spooky, relentless, foreboding and mesmerising all at once, O’Malley’s guitar is the sound that anchors the work whilst Rehberg’s electronic manipulations are sometime front and centre and at other times barely perceptible. The overwhelming impression is one of misery and if you remember that end scene at the end of the Blair Witch Project  where that guy is facing the wall in that basement and not responding to his friend’s calls, if that scene had needed a score then  KTL would have been perfect. 

While we all wait for another release from SunnO))), The three KTL records (and a fourth to be released in the new year) are excellent ways of establishing some Christmas ambiance for your family this season. 

Burning Witch – Crippled Lucifer (Southern Lord) 2008

Posted in Burning Witch, Doom, Music, noise, Sunn with tags on October 25, 2008 by noisenoisenoise

When Thor’s Hammer imploded in the mid-1990’s, the surviving members created Burning Witch one of the more influential black metal/doom bands of the 1990’s. Although Burning Witch only existed for a couple of years, the core of the band Stephen O’Malley and Greg Andersen, went on to form  the reigning bench mark of doom, Sunn O))). During their brief existence Burning Witch recorded two EPs with Steve Albini. Crippled Lucifer is a twin disc compilation of those EPs.

To be honest I was never a metal fan. I always found the genre over the top and a bit ridiculous. When ever I listen to a black metal record I always think that I get the joke until I realise that the band themselves are probably not trying to be funny. This is the  same reaction I get with Burning Witch. I mean this record is so heavy, the  riffs so crushing, the vocals so tortured that I can’t help but be amused. The thing is, if i find the whole thing so silly then why do I enjoy Crippled Lucifer so much? Part of the  reason is that sometimes I just want to hear over the top guitar work and demon vocals. Playing this record is a guilty pleasure and is particularly useful after a particularly grinding day at work. For those of you who are fans of Sun O))) yet haven’t managed to listen to this, I recommend that you remedy that situation immediately. Burning Witch certainly didn’t  embrace the  ambient minimlism that now  infiltrates Sunn O)))’s work but the bedrock of their sound has been used as a template for all of the doom bands that have followed. Recommended. 

Still Born Live

Melvins – The Maggot (Ipecac) 1999

Posted in Doom, Melvins, Music with tags on July 20, 2008 by noisenoisenoise

This was the first in the trilogy of interesting records that were all recorded at the same time but released in the space of a couple of months at the end of 1999 and the beginning of 2000. I own them all and although it’s fair to say that the Melvins have had an interesting (OK inconsistent) career, The Maggot, The Bootlicker and The Crybaby encapsulate their whole career in a nut shell.

I always though The Maggot was a strange one to lead off with. Compared with the other later two in the trilogy The Maggot is just not as interesting. In saying that there is is still a whole lot here to love. The whole sludgy wall of sound confines everything on The Maggot. There is no room for light or compromise. It’s a pretty intense album  but if you just love that sludgy, stoner-rock style then this is a pretty decent record to have in your collection. I suppose the most noticeable thing missing from The Maggot is the sense of humour. The Melvins have never taken themselves too seriously but The Maggot sounds like they recorded it whilst in a very black mood indeed. It’s OK but the other two in the series are way better.

Earth – Bees Made Honey In The Lion’s Skull (Southern Lord) 2008

Posted in Doom, Earth, Sunn on March 16, 2008 by noisenoisenoise


This is the follow-up to one of my favourite albums of all time Hex: Or Printing in the Infernal Method. That record was simply fanatstic. Bleak, pastoral doom which was both evocative and oddly beautiful. On Bees Made Honey In The Lion’s Skull, Earth haven’t reinvented the wheel but it is still a progression. The pastoral country-gothic ambience that was flirted with on Hex is front and centre on Bees. It’s less bleak than Hex and there’s also a bit more of a prog rock feel to the whole thing and on one track Earth may have become as rock n’ roll as they dare.

It’s a pretty good record. I prefer Hex personally but there is a lot here to love. If Hex is 9/10 then this is and 8.

Here’s a snippet

Boris – Amplifier Worship (Southern Lord) 2003

Posted in Boris, Doom, Music, noise on February 26, 2008 by noisenoisenoise


Boris are a many headed beast. Are they Doom? Sludge? Post-rock? Metal? Avant Garde? Stoner? The answer predictably is all of the above. I’ve previously posted on the mighty Feedbacker record of a couple of years ago and that record is like a doom version of Post Rock with the odd groove thrown in. Amplifier Worship is a very different beast and reminds me that they did after all name themselves after a song off the Melvin’s awesome Bullhead record. Amplifier Worship is pure sludge metal. It’s like Earth crossed with the Melvins. I’ll be honest I’m pretty partial to a bit of Boris but this is not my favourite thing of their’s that they’ve done. It sometimes feels that it’s all a bit pointless. When a band such as the Melvins define a genre so well it feels like anything else is merely a photostat of the original. If I want to listen to sludge then maybe I’ll just listen to Bullhead or Houdini instead. Boris make much better records than this, especially the sublime Flood and Akuma No Uta. That’s not to say this is not a decent record. There are some moments on Amplifier Worship which work for me on so many levels but I suppose it comes down to which incarnation of Boris works best for you.

Oren Ambarchi – Grapes From The Estate (Touch) 2005

Posted in Doom, Drone, Music, Oren Ambarchi, Sunn on January 26, 2008 by noisenoisenoise


Last year I had some fun with Justice Yeldham’s record Cicatrix. I thought for the most part it was pretty boring although to be fair a couple of the live tracks at the end were not bad. To cut a long story short, Mr Yeldham himself, Lucas Abela, went-fucking-off in the comments section. It was great. I think he was calling me a fuckwit in a diplomatic way. I published his comments because I think if I’m going to slag something off, the guy who made it should get a right of reply. The thing that irked me about his comments though was a sense of elitism that I took from his criticism. He seemed outraged that I had never seen one of his shows because at some stage he lived in my home town and he performed here regularly. Call me sensitive but what I think he was really saying was because I had come to the genre of noise/experimental music only recently I had no right to opine on what I though was good and what I thought was crap. Perhaps it was the fact that I rarely go to live shows that irked him. Again a rather stupid criticism considering I’m posting on the disc and not the live experience. I saw The National two weeks ago and hey I’ll be honest, I’m not rushing out to buy their records but that show was pretty fucking impressive. They finished most of their noisier song with a big blanket of transcendent white noise. I was in heaven. They need to somehow get that transcendence on to their records but hey, they’re doing OK without my opinion.

What I suppose I’m trying to get at is I’m relatively new to this whole noise/experimental stuff. In fact this was the reason I started this blog. I wanted to, in some small way, be able to make sense of music which excited me but somehow felt isolated from. I’ve posted before on how difficult I find it to describe some of this music. It is fucking hard. What I’m coming to terms with now though is the sheer size of the genre I’ve chosen to explore. I’m dipping my toes into the world of Merzbow more and more, and I kind of cringe when I look at my Merzbear post particularly the bit about being kind of frightened to delve into his back catalogue.

This brings me to Oren Ambarchi. Until I read an interview in The Wire recently I had no idea he existed. This in itself was kind of embarrassing considering his name is proudly displayed on some of my Sunn O))) records (note to self; must read liner notes better). He’s been churning out records for years under his own name, as part of Sun (not to be confused with Sunn O))) and in various collaborations. One of the other criticisms that Abela made was that I didn’t seem to post on many Australian artists. I actually think that criticism is fair and at the end of the day he was nice enough to point me in the right direction.

There seems to be a fair bit of media about Ambarchi recently. His latest album, In the Pendulums Embrace, seems to be getting a fair bit of support from indie record stores around the place. I fully intend to pick up a copy of that record but I decided to start with one of his earlier works. Various sources seems to suggest that Grapes From The Estate is pretty good so here it is.

The thing that struck me first about this record is how un-SunnO))) it is. Few subsonic growls and no death metallish scowls or oppressive doom-laden blanket guitar riffs on this record. Mr Ambarchi instead gives us a meditation in minimalism. This is pretty, fragile minimalism which is as peaceful as the photo on the cover. The whole thing opens with Corkscrew, a ten minute excursion in stark, tonal repetition. Girl with The Silver Eyes continue the theme but noisier elements and just a smidgen of subsonic guitar squelch is added just to knock the whole thing off balance from time to time. The real pearl though is Remedios the Beauty. Elements of melody and rhythm are brought in. The twenty minute closer Stars Aligned, Webs Spun brings us back to earlier theme of tonal pulses, repetition and the odd subsonic, vaguely doom-like muted blast.

Grapes From the Estate is a dream of mininalism and modern composition. When I read the word minimalism I’m prone to think of drone. This record kind of is but really isn’t if that makes sense. The sound on Grapes is more carefully constructed that your average drone record. It has the same vibe as a drone record but moves teh concept a couple of steps to the right but in saying that if you like your drone I recommend checking this guy out. Its stark yet somehow warm and as an aside, if you ever want to introduce a reluctant spouse to experimental music, this may be the record to play them.

Sunn O))) – Oracle 2 x CD (Southern Lord) 2007

Posted in Doom, Doomember, Music, noise, Sunn on December 1, 2007 by noisenoisenoise


Fuck me dead. This is the most evil thing I’ve heard. Seriously. I am so going to Mass tomorrow. I need to repent. Merely playing this I’m sure is summoning the Dark Lord. In a previous post I said that I didn’t know whether to take this doom stuff seriously or not. After listening to this, I fucking do now.

I mean holy shit. This is just suffocating. It’s fucking doom with a capital D. It makes Black One sound like the Wiggles.

I chanced across this on Wednesday. I hadn’t realised this had even been released and I struggled to find much info on it. I bought the CD version which is over two discs. The first disc is apparently the same two tracks that were released on the vinyl version of Oracle. The second disc is one long 46 minute track called Helio)))sophist. The liner notes state that this track is an audial collage of live performances from July 2005.

To give you an idea of what this record is all about I’ve ripped the following off the Southern Lord website.

ORAKULUM was originally composed for a live performance collaboration with the New York sculptor Banks Violette at the Maureen Paley Gallery in London, June of 06. Violette created sculptural representation of SUNN O)))s entire backline in cast resin and salt, including amplifier stacks, instruments, effects & accompaniments. In addition, black laquered stage platforms and sound panels were created as a basis for the groups actual backline setup, and a selection of drawings were presented within the context. The result of this performance and collaboration, which was conducted in a sealed gallery space, was intended to generate a feeling of absence, loss and a phantom of what once was.The A side of this lp: BELUROL PUSZTIT was also recorded at this session. Initially this song was created for the “Jukebox Buddha” compilation as it features the use of the tone generating Buddha Boxes within the track. In the style of Sunn 0))) these boxes were run through the sunn backline and recorded at maximum volume which of course yielded maximum results! BELUROL PUSZTIT ” also features extra “instrumentation” from Atsuo Mizuno (Boris) on drums and Joe Preston (Earth, Melvins, Thrones) on jackhammer.

Let’s go through this helpful note together and I’ll point out my favourite understatement of the year: The result of this performance and collaboration, which was conducted in a sealed gallery space, was intended to generate a feeling of absence, loss and a phantom of what once was. This statement does not do this “performance” justice. I’d just like to add that Oracle is my new bench mark for bleak. Well bleak with added demon noises to be accurate. Or to strive for total accuracy, Oracle contains the closest representation of a tortured soul ever recorded. Plain bleakness is, of course, represented by Earth’s Hex. It’s a pretty compelling sound and even though it un-nerves me I keep going back for more.

For what it’s worth the second disc is also pretty great. It’s SunnO))) doing what they do best. Here’s the rub though. This 2 disc version is a limited edition of 2000. I mean what is the point of that. I fucking hate this exclusive bullshit.

Sunn O))) – White 2 (Southern Lord) 2004

Posted in Doom, Doomember, Music, noise, Sunn on December 1, 2007 by noisenoisenoise


I find it faintly amusing when a month is renamed in support of some event or other. In Australia we have Movemeber where men get sponsored to grow mustaches for a month in support of mental health awareness (and something to do with prostates I think). I’ve also been a fan of Wonkette’s Cocktober and Blowvember which celebrate the latest Republican sex scandal. So to get in the spirit and due to my hatred of Christmas I give you Doomember.

White 2 is a companion piece for White 1. In some ways it’s a better record but not nearly as accessible as it’s predecessor. You basically get the same bang for your buck. Three extremely lengthy meditations in doom. Hell-O)))-Ween is massive power cord after massive powercord. It’s kind of like watching miso soup settle. It kind of churns back onto itself until it’s an ominous cloud suspended in …….. well if I keep with my miso soup analogy, fish stock I suppose. The next track is completely different. bassAliens is exactly what it says on the packet. An ambient subsonic doom feast. Don’t bother holding out for the big power chord, it’s never going to happen. The final track gives the heads up to where Sunnn O))) would head to with Black One. All frightening, creepy, black metalish doom. Evil evil evil. I still prefer White 1 and Flight of the Behemoth makes me all giddy when I think about those Merzbow tracks, but White 2 shows a band never willing to stand still and rest on their laurels.

Sunn O))) – White 1 (Southern Lord) 2003

Posted in Doom, Music, Sunn on November 20, 2007 by noisenoisenoise


I have so much new music at the moment that it is doing my head in. Fucking Merzbow, Fire Engines, Black Dice, Zelienople, Ashtray Navigations, Peter Wright and Sandoz Lab Technicians (yay more NZ experimental noise) all have demanded my attention. I have decided to have a break (but let me tell you that Peter Wright CD I bought on my Sydney trip is un-fucking-believable) and find comfort in an old friend.

White 1 was my introduction to Sunn o))). I’d read all of the reviews and the thought of some vaguely black-metalish, doom record didn’t have me reaching for my wallet. The main reason is that I really didn’t understand doom or what it sounded like and the samples I’d listened to online were of such bad quality that it was hard to tell what this doom stuff was all about. I decided to start with this one because of the comforting presence of Julian Cope. I was a big Cope fan in the 1980’s and I flogged his Saint Julian record to death.

Things kick of with My Wall. This track is all big monster riffs one after the other and massive helpings of subsonic bass. It’s the kind of thing that you feel rather than hear. Cope basically talks gibberish over the top of it all. Here’s some choice snippets Doom and gloom is to each a splendid pair and another For I am death …. and yet another Here in the bloodless deepest scar/ here be the wall of Johnny guitar. Absolute nonsense all of it. There seems to be a basic theme of pagan gods and ancient battles. It’s ever so slightly absurd but is the most accessible thing Sunn have done. It’s great and even at 25+ minutes it’s up there with my most played tracks on Mr Boo. The second track is The Gates of Ballard. This track starts with a strange nordic folk song (or part of the black mass. I’m not sure to tell you the truth) sung by the vocalist from Thor’s Hammer (actually I’m going with my first guess) before morphing into the most Melvin’s (Bullhead era) like sludge/doom thing I’ve heard them do. It’s an absolute joy, all 15 minutes of it. Things are rounded out by A Shaving of the Horn that Speared You. This is strangest track on the album. It’s a pointer to where they’d head to on Black One. The creep factor is all here just without the oppressive darkness. It’s basically an exercise in subsonics. There are no monster riffs. The vocalist from Thor’s Hammer is back where she contributes whispered, breathless vocals from time to time. It’s not my favorite thing Sunn have ever done but it shows a band willing to try new things while staying within the doom sphere. I think White 2 is a more cohesive record, but White 1 is a pretty good place to jump on if you’ve ever thought about buying a Sunn record.

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

Posted in Doom, Merzbow, noise, Sunn on August 28, 2007 by noisenoisenoise


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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