Reviews : Albums : Sunn 0))), "White 1"

Sunn 0))), "White 1"

A rumbling landscape of amorphous bass and feedback blasts the listener as "My Wall," the gargantuan, 25-minute opener kicks off Sunn 0)))'s White 1 album. Moving like a glacier, the song features a long, fairly well written poem, presented in a spoken delivery. The most interesting part about this track is easily the quality of the voice which sounds like it's coming from a bitter old wizard sitting atop a fortress wall, watching the end of civilization while the accompanying music paints a picture of heavy thunderclouds gathering over desolate plains. The mix of these two images makes the journey of "My Wall" worth the agonizing speed and duration.

Following are two shorter tracks, "The Gates of Ballard" and "A Shavingof the Horn that Speared You." Both still exceed the 15-minute mark, but they definitely show a different side of Sunn 0))) than the opener. The former drones along at a pace that's at the very least measurable, and it even has a discernable guitar lick and some sung/screamed vocals. Though the same concept could be adequately presented in half the time, this song is still decent. The latter track ends the album, sending us off with a molasses-slow, feedback-drenched dirge that does very little for my brain activity?though if you turn it up loud enough, it might be close to the brown noise, and that would be pretty sweet.

In all, Sunn 0))) has done a better job with throbbing, sludgy, doom than most, making their three-song, hour journey almost worth the time it takes to listen to it. The thing is, if you don't understand why this genre exists in the first place, you'll surely think White 1 is a poor excuse for music.

Standout Tracks

   My Wall

Peter Johnston