Sunn O))), Big Brave, Hissing | Thalia Hall | Experimental | Chicago Reader
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click to enlarge Sunn O)))

Sunn O)))

Peter HoÌnnemann

Sunn O))), Big Brave, Hissing 

When: Tue., June 7, 8 p.m. 2016
Price: $25-$30
With any Sunn O))) record—even their menacing 2014 collaboration with Scott Walker, Soused—it’s imperative to allow yourself entrance to whatever sliver of meditative headspace you haven’t yet fried. Because only there might the pressurized, doom-filled drones orchestrated by founders Stephen O’Malley and Greg Anderson be understood holistically rather than as stand-alone pieces of a daunting puzzle. Split into three only-kind-of-discernible parts, last year’s Kannon (Southern Lord) makes that task pretty simple, actually—at least for a Sunn O))) album. The movements of sludge guitar wash over the practically unintelligible fluttering vocal croaks of regular collaborator Attila Csihar as waves of feedback meticulously and patiently slice through the din, leaving behind squealing chemtrails that subtly evaporate as they’re pulled towards the core of each track. Foregrounded burbles and far-off ruptures consolidate to add scope to the album’s cloaked, cohesive grandeur. Because it seems much more enlightening to pull back from an up-close view of lava slowly globbing forward to see instead the majesty of the volcano spewing forth the lava—and the small village at its base that’s about to be consumed.
— Kevin Warwick
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