American doom/drone metal/dark ambient band Sunn O))) formed as a tribute to Earth (2) (and named after this band’s amplifier brand of choice). The two founding members, Stephen O’Malley & Greg Anderson, have appeared at every concert and release under the SUNN O))) moniker. They have also been (and are) active in various other bands (Thorr’s Hammer, Khanate, Goatsnake, Burning Witch, KTL and others). Sunn O))) have employed a number of high-profile guests along the years such as Boris, Ulver, Scott Walker, Attila Csihar, Julian Cope, Oren Ambarchi, Merzbow and others.
Their latest full length LP Kannon is an album which was composed in the aftershadow of SUNN O)))’s most recent successes in immersive collaboration (the group worked with Scott Walker on Soused, Ulver on Terrestrials in 2013 and 2014) and also from the broad and influential wake of their epitimous Monolith’s & Dimensions . Kannon emerged both independently as a conceptual entity and with roots in the legacies of those projects, yet was fully realised years later, in 2015. The album is 36 minutes in length and consists of three pieces of a triadic whole : Kannon 1, 2 and 3.
The album celebrates many Sunn O))) traditions ; Kannon was recorded and mixed with Sunn O)))’s close colleague and coproducer Randall Dunn in Seattle, in Studio Litho, Aleph and Avast! ; and the LP includes performances by long term allies and collaborators Attila Csihar, Oren Ambarchi, Rex Ritter, Steve Moore and others. And at the core the composition centers around the dynamic and intense guitar and bass interplay of Sunn O)))’s founders : Stephen O’Malley & Greg Anderson.
It’s possibly the most figurative album Sunn O))) has created, which is unusual as they usually dwell in layers of abstraction and subjectivity. On the other hand the album is the most outright “metal” in years, drawing personal associations and memories of cherished albums like Panzerfaust and Twilight of the Gods again to the forefront of consciousness. At the third time it is very close to the cyclical character of mantra which the band has evolved into as a living creature, the enormity of intense sensate detail and manifestation of the live in concert face of Sunn O))), the organism that has flourished, metamorphosed and transcended tremendously over the past ten years.
Montreal, Quebec, Canada, three-piece BIG|BRAVE plays sincere, long-form out-rock that ventures in to different directions — at times mournful and unsettling — their music plays out in to moon-bleached grunge where serene vocals crumble over scraping guitars bled of melody.
Sometimes it’s the sound you don’t make. Big|Brave chooses their silences carefully, oscillating between sparse, gentle arrangements and deep swells of noise. They are patient, their crescendos tidal and graceful. Heavy drums come up against haunting vocal melodies. Moody guitar tones swirl. Slowly they recede into something more atmospheric, a quiet that hangs thick like smoke. Something important is offered in the spaces between sounds. Listen for it, feel. It waits.
Arena Vienna / big hall / adv 26 € / 19.00h