Sunn at a 2007 concert, wearing its characteristic robes
|Origin||Seattle, Washington, United States|
|Genres||Drone metal, experimental metal, black metal, noise, dark ambient|
|Associated acts||Boris, Burial Chamber Trio, Burning Witch, Earth, Goatsnake, Gravetemple, Jesse Sykes and the Sweet Hereafter, Khanate, KTL, Merzbow, Nurse with Wound, Thorr's Hammer, Mayhem, Scott Walker|
Sunn O))) (pronounced simply sun //, sometimes spelled as sunn O)))) is an American drone metal band from Seattle, Washington that formed in 1998. The band is primarily known for its synthesis of diverse genres including drone, ambient, noise, extreme metal and for its extremely loud live performances. Supported by a varying cast of collaborators, the band was formed by two core members: Stephen O'Malley (also of Khanate and Burning Witch) and Greg Anderson (of Goatsnake and Engine Kid).
Sunn O))) is named after the Sunn amplifier brand, whose logo 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 music throughout the 1990s. Before the band members moved to Los Angeles, it briefly used the moniker Mars.
The band's style is characterized by extremely slow tempos, heavily distorted guitars, avoidance of rhythm and melody, and alternate tunings. The guitars are notable for their incredibly low register, frequently utilising tunings as low as drop 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 an extremely high volume.
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.
Sunn O))) experiments with a variety of styles and sounds, progressing 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 (see collaborations below), 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 this direction, utilizing far more electronics, synthesis, and other instrumentation than earlier Sunn O))) material, yet still marking a significant return to its traditional sound.
Sunn O))) is widely regarded as leaders in its 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. It was praised in an issue of Wonka Vision, an independent music magazine, as one of the greatest modern metal acts. Sunn O))) was also shown 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?
In 2008, Sunn O))) released a live album titled Dømkirke and also announced that it would do a mini-tour consisting of four concerts to commemorate the group's 10th anniversary to coincide with release of The Grimmrobe Demos.
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.
Sunn O))) released a collaboration album with Ulver, entitled Terrestrials, in February 2014: in October 2014, they released the album Soused, a collaboration with singer-songwriter Scott Walker.
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- ØØ Void (CD 2000, 2xLP 2003, 2xCD 2012)
- Flight of the Behemoth (CD & 2xLP 2002)
- White1 (CD & 2xLP 2003)
- White2 (CD & 2xLP 2004)
- Black One (CD 2005, 2xCD 2005, 2xLP 2006)
- Monoliths & Dimensions (CD & 2xLP 2009)
- The Grimmrobe Demos (1999, CD 2000, 2xPLP 2003, 2xLP 2004)
- Rehearsal Demo Nov 11 2011 (LP 2012)
- LA Reh 012 (LP 2014)
- Veils It White (LP 2003)
- Cro-Monolithic Remixes for an Iron Age (LP 2004)
- Candlewolf of the Golden Chalice (LP 2005)
- Oracle (LP, CD & 2xCD 2007)
- Live White (2xCD 2004)
- The Libations of Samhain
- Live Action Sampler (promotional mix 2xCD 2004)
- La Mort Noir dans Esch/Alzette (limited to 1000 machine-numbered copies, sold on 2006 tour) (2006)
- Dømkirke (2xLP 2008)
- (初心) Grimmrobes Live 101008 (Cassette sold on 2009 World tour) (2009)
- Live At Primavera Sound Festival 2009 On WFMU (Free Music Archive 2009)
- Agharti Live 09-10 (Vinyl 2011, only sold via Southern Lord Subscription series, Roadburn 2011, and the Power of the Riff festival)
Split albums and collaborations
- Angel Coma (limited edition split LP single with Earth) (LP, 2006)
- Altar (collaboration with Boris, CD, 2006, 2xCD ltd. 5000 2006, 3xLP 2007)
- Sunn O))) Meets Nurse With Wound: The Iron Soul Of Nothing [2LP Edition] (Ideologic Organ, 2011)
- Terrestrials (collaboration with Ulver, February 2014)
- Soused (collaboration with Scott Walker, 4AD October 2014)
- The Horn and the Spear (EMS remix) (Digital 2004)
- "Che" (with Pan Sonic) (12" EP 2008)
- WHITEbox (4xLP boxed-set reissue of White albums, limited to 450 copies, with both versions of the song "DECAY" and bonus track "CUT WOODeD") (2006)
- "B/P Simple" from the Jukebox Buddha (Staubgold 2006)
- "Isengard (Chopped/Screwed)" from the Southern Lord: Resurrection (Southern Lord 2010)
- "Billboard". Billboard Magazine (Nielsen Business Media) 119 (1): 27. 6 January 2007. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved 6 August 2011.
- John Wray (May 28, 2006). "Heady Metal". New York Times. Retrieved 2007-10-12.
- The Q Daily: The 20 Loudest Albums Of All Time news.qthemusic.com. 6-28-2007. Retrieved on 2009-10-28.
- 9:36 AM. "Sunn O))) Announces US Tour Dates: News at metal-underground.com". Metalunderground.com. Retrieved 2011-07-20.
- "Sunn O))) announces new album in May 2009". Roadrunnerrecords.com. Retrieved 2011-07-20.
- Greg appears on Jason Ellis Show[dead link]
- Sunn O))) + Boris Present Altar, Tortoise, Hope Sandoval and More for ATP NY! blogs.myspace.com 2010-03-25. Retrieved on 2010-04-01.
- "Sunn O))), Ulver Ready 'Terrestrials' Album for February Release".
- Minsker, Evan (July 17, 2014). "Scott Walker and Sunn O))) Team for New Album Soused". Pitchfork Media.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Sunn O))).|
- Official Web site
- Southern Lord Records
- Stephen O'Malley official site
- Sunn discography at MusicBrainz