Sunn O))) performing in robes at Brutal Assault 2015
|Origin||Seattle, Washington, U.S.|
Sunn O))) (pronounced "sun") is an American experimental metal band from Seattle, Washington, that formed in 1998. The band is known for a heavy and slow sound, that blends diverse genres including drone, black metal, dark ambient and noise rock,as well as for their very loud live performances.
The band's core members are Stephen O'Malley (also of Khanate and Burning Witch) and Greg Anderson (of Goatsnake and Engine Kid).
Sunn O))) is named after the Sunn amplifier brand, the logo of which includes a circle next to the "SUNN" banner with waves heading off to the right. In interviews, Stephen O'Malley stated that the band's moniker was also chosen as a play on the name Earth, a band widely regarded as pioneers of drone metal throughout the 1990s. Before the band members moved to Los Angeles, they briefly used the moniker Mars.
The band's style is characterized by slow tempos, distorted guitars, lack of rhythm and melody, and alternative tunings. The guitars are notable for their low register, frequently utilizing tunings as low as dropped A. Additionally, the band is known for using resonant feedback to create monolithic soundscapes and eerie atmospheres. Percussion is almost never incorporated, with a lack of any discernible beat. When performing live, the band wears robes, fills the air with fog, and plays at a high volume.
The band releases the majority of its music through the label it founded in 1998, Southern Lord Records. However, the band initially released ØØ Void (its second album) on multiple labels, including Rise Above Records, Hydra Head Records, and Dirter Productions (which pressed it as a double album on vinyl). Additionally, the original pressing of The Grimmrobe Demos was released by Hydra Head Records. It was later issued as a double picture record set by Outlaw Recordings and finally reissued by Southern Lord in 2004.
Sunn O))) experiments with a variety of styles and sounds, progressing beyond the primarily guitar and bass style of The Grimmrobe Demos and ØØ Void. On White1 and White2, Sunn O))) noticeably expanded on conceptualization by inviting several guests, resulting in everything from quiet meditative ambient sounds ("A Shaving of the Horn that Speared You" from White1) to a bizarre bass experiment track ("bassAliens" from White2). Black One continued in this direction, utilizing far more electronics, synthesizers, and other instrumentation than earlier Sunn O))) material, yet still marking a significant return to their traditional sound.
Sunn O))) are widely regarded as leaders in the genre, including by The New York Times Magazine of May 28, 2006, when the band was written up in an article called "Heady Metal" by John Wray. [ citation needed ] Sunn O))) also appeared in the August 2007 issue of Q magazine (the "loud issue"), with its album White1 being named the 18th-loudest album of all time, just above AC/DCs Back in Black and below Jimi Hendrix's Are You Experienced?The band was praised in an issue of Wonka Vision , an independent music magazine, as one of the greatest modern metal acts.
In 2008, Sunn O))) released a live album titled Dømkirke and also announced a mini-tour consisting of four concerts to commemorate the group's 10th anniversary, which coincided with the release of The Grimmrobe Demos.
The band's seventh studio album, Monoliths & Dimensions , was released on May 18, 2009, and was acclaimed by both press and public alike.
On December 17, 2009, the song "Hunting & Gathering (Cydonia)" from the CD Monoliths & Dimensions was named the Heaviest Song of All-Time by Jason Ellis on The Jason Ellis Show on Sirius/XM. Greg Anderson then appeared on The Jason Ellis Show on January 12, 2010.
For live performances, Hungarian-born Attila Csihar (Mayhem) has performed as the primary vocalist since 2003.
Sunn O))) released a collaboration album with Ulver titled Terrestrials in February 2014:in October 2014, the band released the album Soused , a collaboration with singer-songwriter Scott Walker. In November 2015, Sunn O))) presented a four-day program at Le Guess Who? Festival in Utrecht, the Netherlands, including Annette Peacock, Magma, Julia Holter and The Crazy World of Arthur Brown, and Sunn O))) itself.
The band worked with producer Steve Albini on two albums, Life Metal and Pyroclasts.
Ulver is a Norwegian experimental electronica band founded in 1993, by vocalist Kristoffer Rygg. Their early works, such as debut album Bergtatt, were categorised as folklore-influenced black metal, but the band has since evolved a fluid and increasingly eclectic musical style, blending genres such as experimental rock, electronica, ambient, trip hop, symphonic and chamber traditions, noise, progressive and experimental music into their oeuvre. 1997 marked their international debut with the release of their third album Nattens madrigal through German label Century Media. However, following discord with the label, Kristoffer Rygg formed his own imprint, Jester Records, in 1998.
Southern Lord is an American heavy metal record label that was founded in 1998 by Greg Anderson. Initially, Southern Lord specialized in what could broadly be classified as experimental metal, particularly the slow-moving doom metal, stoner rock, and drone metal subgenres. Some of the more notable artists on the label include Baptists, Earth, Om, Goatsnake, Khanate, Obliterations, Pelican, Sleep, Boris and Sunn O))), among others. More recently, the label expanded its line-up to include artists from the black metal subgenre, including releases by Twilight, Wolves in the Throne Room, Xasthur, and Striborg. They have also released albums by hardcore punk and crust punk bands like Burning Love, Agrimonia, and Wolfbrigade.
Drone metal or drone doom is a style of heavy metal that melds the slow tempos and heaviness of doom metal with the long-duration tones of drone music. Drone metal is sometimes associated with post-metal or experimental metal.
Attila Csihar, also sometimes known as Void, is a Hungarian extreme metal vocalist, best known for his vocal work in Norwegian black metal band Mayhem and American drone-doom project Sunn O))). Author Ian Christe describes his vocals as "operatic."
Oren Ambarchi is an Australian musician. He is a multi-instrumentalist who plays mainly electric guitar and percussion.
Stephen O'Malley is an American guitarist, producer, composer, and visual artist from Seattle, Washington, who has conceptualized and participated in numerous drone doom, death/doom, and experimental music groups, most notably Sunn O))).
ØØ Void is the first studio album by Sunn O))). The album was recorded on 24 track 2" tape at Grandmaster Studios in Hollywood, a large step forward in production values from the band's demo recording The Grimmrobe Demos.
Dronevil is the eighth studio album by the Japanese experimental band Boris. It is a double album: the first LP, Drone, showcases a more ambient sound, while the second LP, Evil, is and showcases a heavy guitar-oriented doom metal sound. Though the two sides can be heard separately, the original intention is for both to be played simultaneously.
Greg Anderson is an American musician, a co-founder of Southern Lord Records.
Oracle is an EP by Sunn O))). The track "Orakalum" was recorded as part of a collaboration between the band and sculptor/installation artist Banks Violette for an exhibit at London's Maureen Paley gallery. The exhibit took place in two rooms: one with a black stage where the band recorded "Orakulum" with Attila Csihar locked inside a white coffin, and one with a white replica of the band's stage set up cast out of salt and resin with a destroyed black coffin. The audience was locked outside for the performance and let inside after the band left "to generate a feeling of absence, loss and a phantom of what was."
Daniel O'Sullivan is an English artist of Irish ancestry, multi-instrumentalist and composer from Manchester, England, best known for playing in experimental art-rock bands Grumbling Fur, Guapo, Miasma & the Carousel of Headless Horses, Ulver, Sunn O))), Æthenor, Laniakea, Miracle, Mothlite, and This Is Not This Heat. He's also released solo work under his own name.
Monoliths & Dimensions is the sixth studio album by the avant-garde drone doom band Sunn O))). The album was created and recorded over a period of two years and features the collaborations of composer Eyvind Kang, Australian guitar player Oren Ambarchi, Hungarian vocalist Attila Csihar, Dylan Carlson from the drone band Earth, and trombonists Julian Priester and Stuart Dempster. Also present is an upright bass trio; French and English horns; harp and flute duo; piano, brass, reed, and string ensembles; and a Viennese woman's choir led by composer and vocalist Jessika Kenney.
Seldon Hunt (born 1969, in Melbourne and migrated to New York in 2006, is an artist best known for his photography and his graphic artwork for rock musicians.
Randall Dunn is an American record producer, audio engineer, and musician.
Terrestrials is a collaborative studio album by American drone metal band Sunn O))) and Norwegian experimental music group Ulver. Produced by Stephen O'Malley and Kristoffer Rygg, it was released on February 3, 2014, via Southern Lord Records. It has been described as "three live improvisation pieces".
Soused is a collaborative album between singer Scott Walker and experimental metal band Sunn O))). Announced in early 2014 by 4AD, the album was produced by Walker and Peter Walsh with the help of Mark Warman and released on 21 October 2014. 4AD released a music video for the song "Brando", directed by French filmmaker Gisèle Vienne.
Kannon is the seventh full-length studio album by drone metal band Sunn O))).
Life Metal is the eighth studio album by drone metal band Sunn O))). Through Southern Lord Records, the album received a limited release for Record Store Day on April 13, 2019, and a wide release two weeks later on April 26. Life Metal was recorded and mixed by Steve Albini entirely using analog tape. The title "life metal" is an inside joke among band members and collaborators that is meant to humorously contrast the genre death metal, and conceptually contrast anything that's "not doom-and-gloom". Sunn O))) chose this as the album's title because of both the music's shift in tone and the mindset of the band members at the time of writing. In addition to Greg Anderson and Stephen O'Malley, the album features collaborators Tos Nieuwenhuizen, Tim Midyett, Hildur Guðnadóttir and Anthony Pateras.
Pyroclasts is the ninth studio album by drone metal band Sunn O))). The album was released through Southern Lord Records on October 25, 2019. Life Metal was recorded and mixed by Steve Albini entirely using analog tape. In addition to Greg Anderson and Stephen O'Malley, the album features collaborators Tos Nieuwenhuizen, Tim Midyett and Hildur Guðnadóttir.
The discography of Sunn O))) consists of nine studio albums, three collaborative albums, six EPs, four demos, one remix album, eight official live albums, one box set compilation, one stand-alone single and three compilation contributions.
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