Sunn O))) - Black1
Southern Lord
Blackened Drone Doom
7 songs (67:09)
Release year: 2005
Southern Lord
Reviewed by Daniel

There it is again... that tall and ominous temple, so painful and tormenting, yet so necessary and appealing. I cross the immense doorframe and once inside, the huge door is sealed and I’m left inside. Not a single ray of light illuminates the interior and a deep cold penetrates my mind and body. Enter Black1.

Soon I’m met with drowning sounds and my mind begins to slowly be carried away by the sonic ebb and flow of this huge body of sound. Painful and tormented vocals fill the air, while guitar feedback starts numbing my mind; and then it hits me, it hits me with all it’s might… droning bass strikes me like slow motion thunder, electrifying my whole body and slowly poisoning my senses. Time no longer is, as what I hear has destroyed time itself, and infinity now reigns keeping me in deep trance for what seems eternity. And then, all of a sudden, it stops and I slowly open my eyes just to realize I find myself just where I started… in my room.

Black1 is Sunn O)))’s latest masterpiece and this time they present a collection of seven shorter songs (when compared to other Sunn O))) works) in which they have made heavy use of Black Metal aesthetics, thanks in part to contributions by US Black Metal titans Malefic (Xasthur) and Wrest (Leviathan), including their insane vocals which work amazingly in conjunction the music created by Greg Anderson and Stephen O'Malley. Now, the album is in no way comparable to Black Metal of any sorts, it just has a deep Black Metal aura and some elements incorporated into it, so don’t expect anything in the vein because you would only be disappointed. The closer they get is an Immortal cover and let me tell you that they transformed it in such a way I’m sure most people wouldn’t recognize it; but even so, I must say I have never heard such a killer Immortal cover.

Also the album features contributions by noise artists John Wiese and Oren Ambarchi, adding even more texture to this sonic trip into audio hell by creating powerful and absorbing ambience. In all honesty I have never been able to enjoy a purely noise album, but the way it is incorporated into this album is something I can absolutely appreciate, as it is only used as an additional element.

Sunn O))) are without a doubt very unique artists, and stomaching them can be quite a difficult feat, but that’s part of the beauty of the band, I mean, it’s cool when you get an album and in the first or second spin you’re already into it, but there’s also the other point of view where the listener must work in order to understand what’s happening, slowly absorbing the content and gradually comprehending it. And let me assure you that Sunn O))) is one of the bands that once you’ve gotten it, you’ll never turn back. So lock yourself in total darkness in your room avoiding all interruptions, lay in bed and let Sunn O))) and Black1 take you where few else can... into oblivion.

Killing Songs :
Daniel quoted 85 / 100
Dee quoted 67 / 100
Other albums by Sunn O))) that we have reviewed:
Sunn O))) - 00 Void (reissue) reviewed by Goat and quoted 75 / 100
Sunn O))) - Monoliths And Dimensions reviewed by Goat and quoted 95 / 100
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