The robed musicians who comprise Sunn O))) (just say, 'sun') are Stephen O'Malley and Greg Anderson. An array of low-tuned guitars are driven through multiple Marshall quad stacks by extremely powerful Sunn tube amps creating a sonic wash that rivals the decibel level of a jet engine. Feedback and effects are as much a part of the sonic palette as is the absence of any discernible beat. It may sound challenging, but this pair is operating on a different plane, using the sympathetic vibrations and overtones created by massive amounts of air being pushed by the speakers to fuel a dark kind of spiritual journeying and quest. Their drone style has been described as "ecclesiastical nihilism." Supported by loads of stage fog, dim lights and major volume levels the effect often elicits a trifecta of intense responses from the crowd (physical, intellectual, and spiritual). You can listen to it on a stereo, but the only way to really get a sense of what they're doing is to experience it in person. It will hurt real good if you're really close to the stage.
September 24, 2009
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