PRINT April 2006


Sunn 0)))

LISTENING TO A SUNN 0))) record at normal volume is a calculatedly disappointing experience. Take, for example, their latest full-length album, Black One: Released on CD last year and recently issued as a double LP, it features an elaborate gatefold sleeve boasting a morosely hyperstylized drawing of an overgrown forest. This package seems to promise exactly the kind of overpowering, supremely lachrymose sound that the band, as the arguable apotheosis of the drone-metal subgenre, is known for. But put the record on and you may feel that you’re hearing a standard set of hard-rock chord progressions making their way through the brain of an overmedicated teenager, straining through each gluey tangle of synapses, steadily losing momentum. Turn it up, though, way up, and the sublime element becomes palpable: Steve O’Malley and Greg Anderson, who formed Sunn 0))) in 1998, have perfected a

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