Sunn O)))

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Sunn O)))
Sunn O))) - Brutal Assault 01.jpg
Sunn O))) performing in robes at Brutal Assault 2015
Background information
Origin Seattle, Washington, U.S.
Years active1998–present
Labels Southern Lord
Associated acts

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, [6] 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). [7]


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. [7]

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.

The logo the band uses is also that of the Sunn amplifier brand. Sunn.png
The logo the band uses is also that of the Sunn amplifier brand.

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))) on stage at the Ritz in Manchester, 11 June 2012 Sunn O))) (7180409975).jpg
Sunn O))) on stage at the Ritz in Manchester, 11 June 2012

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. [8] The band was praised in an issue of Wonka Vision , an independent music magazine, as one of the greatest modern metal acts.[ 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? [9]

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. [10]

The band's seventh studio album, Monoliths & Dimensions , was released on May 18, 2009, and was acclaimed by both press and public alike. [11]

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. [12]

For live performances, Hungarian-born Attila Csihar (Mayhem) has performed as the primary vocalist since 2003.

Attila wearing a costume, Brutal Assault 2015 Sunn O))) - Brutal Assault 03.jpg
Attila wearing a costume, Brutal Assault 2015

Sunn O))) released a collaboration album with Ulver titled Terrestrials in February 2014: [13] in October 2014, the band released the album Soused , a collaboration with singer-songwriter Scott Walker. [14] 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. [15]

The band worked with producer Steve Albini on two albums, Life Metal and Pyroclasts. [16]


Studio albums

Collaborative albums

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<i>ØØ Void</i> 2000 studio album by Sunn O)))

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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."

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<i>Monoliths & Dimensions</i> 2009 studio album by Sunn O)))

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.

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<i>Terrestrials</i> (album) 2014 studio album by Sunn O))) and Ulver

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".

<i>Soused</i> (album) 2014 studio album by Scott Walker + Sunn O)))

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.

<i>Kannon</i> (album) 2015 studio album by Sunn O)))

Kannon is the seventh full-length studio album by drone metal band Sunn O))).

<i>Life Metal</i> 2019 studio album by 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.

<i>Pyroclasts</i> (album) 2019 studio album by Sunn O)))

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.

Sunn O))) discography band discography

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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  3. Martens, Todd (January 6, 2007). "Indies on the Verge". Billboard Magazine . Nielsen Business Media. 119 (1): 27. ISSN   0006-2510 . Retrieved August 6, 2011.
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  7. 1 2 Wray, John (May 28, 2006). "Heady Metal". The New York Times. Retrieved October 12, 2007.
  8. Wray, John (28 May 2006). "Heady Metal" . Retrieved 5 May 2019.
  9. "The 20 Loudest Albums Of All Time". Q . August 2007. Archived from the original on March 5, 2008. Retrieved December 21, 2014.
  10. "Sunn O))) Announces US Tour Dates". August 8, 2008. Retrieved July 20, 2011.
  11. "SUNN O))): More 'Monoliths & Dimensions' Details Revealed". February 13, 2009. Retrieved July 20, 2011.
  12. [ dead link ]
  13. "Sunn O))), Ulver Ready 'Terrestrials' Album for February Release". November 18, 2013. Retrieved December 21, 2014.
  14. Minsker, Evan (July 17, 2014). "Scott Walker and Sunn O))) Team for New Album Soused". Pitchfork .
  15. "Le Guess Who? Festival official site". Retrieved June 17, 2015.
  16. "Sunn O))), Amanda Palmer, Spiritualized, Saves The Day & more releasing pink vinyl for cancer charity". BrooklynVegan. Retrieved 2019-07-31.