Monoliths & Dimensions

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Monoliths & Dimensions
Monoliths & Dimensions.jpg
Studio album by Sunn O)))
Released May 18, 2009
Recorded 2007–2009
Length 53:39
Label Southern Lord
Producer Mell Dettmer, Randall Dunn
Sunn O))) chronology
Monoliths & Dimensions

Monoliths & Dimensions is the sixth studio album by the avant-garde drone doom band Sunn O))). The album was created and recorded over a period of two years and features the collaborations of composer Eyvind Kang, Australian guitar player Oren Ambarchi, Hungarian vocalist Attila Csihar, Dylan Carlson from the drone band Earth, and trombonists Julian Priester and Stuart Dempster. Also present is an upright bass trio; French and English horns; harp and flute duo; piano, brass, reed, and string ensembles; and a Viennese woman's choir led by Persian vocalist Jessika Kenney.[1]

However, the band said, "The album is not Sunn O))) with strings or metal-meets-orchestra material." The band took an approach concentrating on more of allusion toward the timbre of feedback and the instruments involved, so the piece is really illusory, beautiful and not entirely linear, stating, "[The end product is] the most musical piece we’ve done, and also the heaviest, [most] powerful, and most abstract set of chords we’ve laid to tape."[2]

When speaking at the launch of Monoliths & Dimensions, Stephen O'Malley told Alex Templeton-Ward that the album was "like a prism... our music is the white light going in, a lot of the colour comes out the other side through the amazing arrangements and personalities of the guest performers and core collaborators… I think the main topic of this album is elaboration, expansion and prismatic detail. The source of that detail is inherent in the sounds of the guitars and the notes of those arrangements."[3]

The final song, titled "Alice", is a dedication to the late Alice Coltrane.[4]


Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic 88/100[5]
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4.5/5 stars[6]
Drowned in Sound 10/10 stars[7]
Mojo 4/5 stars[8]
MusicOMH 4.5/5 stars[9]
Pitchfork Media 8.5/10[10]
Rock-A-Rolla (favorable)[11]
Rock Sound 9/10 stars[12]
Spin 3.5/5 stars[13]
Terrorizer (favorable)[14]
Tiny Mix Tapes 4.5/5 stars[15]

Initial critical response to Monoliths & Dimensions was very positive. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album received an average score of 88, based on 16 reviews.[5]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written and composed by Anderson and O'Malley. 

No. Title Length
1. "Aghartha"   17:34
2. "Big Church [Megszentségteleníthetetlenségeskedéseitekért]"   9:43
3. "Hunting & Gathering (Cydonia)"   10:02
4. "Alice"   16:20
Total length:


  • Produced by Mell Dettmer and Randall Dunn
  • Engineers: Mell Dettmer, Randall Dunn, Nik Hummer and Armin Steiner
  • Assistant engineer: Floyd Reitsman
  • Mastering: Mell Dettmer
  • Cover art: "Out-of-round X" (1999) by Richard Serra


  • Stephen O'Malley – electric guitars
  • Greg Anderson – electric guitars, electric bass guitar
  • Attila Csihar – voices
  • Oren Ambarchi – electric guitars, motorized cymbal, oscillator, guitar effects, gong, wolf log
  • Eyvind Kang – viola; choir, brass, and string arrangements
  • Dylan Carlson – electric guitars, choir arrangements (inspired by)
  • Julian Priester – trombone and conch shell
  • Stuart Dempster – trombone, conch shell, dung chen
  • Mell Dettmer – tubular bells, hydrophone
  • Timb Harris – violin
  • Jessika Kenney – lead alto and soprano choir; choir, brass, and string arrangements
  • Tim Smolens – double bass
  • Moriah Neils – double bass
  • Keith Lowe – double bass
  • Daniel Menche – male choir
  • William Herzog – male choir, electric tamboura
  • Steve Moore – trombone, organ, Korg MS20, Roland Juno, conch shell, dung chen
  • Brad Mowen – concert bass drum, percussion, man choir
  • Joe Preston – man choir
  • Rex Ritter – Korg MS20, Moog Voyager
  • Hans Teuber – clarinet, bass clarinet, alto flute
  • Cuong Vu – trumpet
  • Tony Moore – trumpet
  • Melissa Walsh harp
  • Taina Karr – English horn, oboe
  • Eric Walton – piano
  • Josiah Boothby – French horn
  • Jutta Sierlinger – choir alto
  • Angela Kiemayer – choir alto
  • Varena Bodem – choir alto
  • Katharina Einsiedl – choir soprano/Alto
  • Stephanie Pfeffer – choir soprano/Alto
  • Loma Döring – choir soprano/alto

Release history[edit]

Region Date Label
Europe May 18, 2009 Southern Lord
North America May 26, 2009 Southern Lord
Asia and Australia TBA Southern Lord


  1. ^ Sunn O))) to release a new album on May, 2009
  2. ^ "Sunn O))) Reveals New Album "Monoloths And Dimensions" Details". Metal Underground. Retrieved 7 January 2015. 
  3. ^ Compared with the Sunn 2010-10-28. Retrieved on 2010-10-29.
  4. ^ "Interview: Greg Anderson, Sunn O)))". 2 July 2009. Retrieved 24 November 2012. 
  5. ^ a b "Monoliths & Dimension Reviews, Ratings, Credits, and More". Metacritic. Retrieved November 24, 2012. 
  6. ^ Jurek, Thom. Monoliths & Dimensions review Retrieved on 2009-12-18.
  7. ^ Doran, John. Monoliths and Dimensions review 2009-05-21. Retrieved on 2009-12-18.
  8. ^ Mojo magazine, issue #187, p.98. Monoliths and Dimensions review by Manish Agarawal.
  9. ^ Shepherd, Sam. Monoliths and Dimensions review Retrieved on 2009-12-18.
  10. ^ Currin, Grayson. Monoliths & Dimensions review 2009-05-29. Retrieved on 2009-12-18.
  11. ^ Rock-A-Rolla issue #20 May/June 2009
  12. ^ Gardner, Neil (June 2009). "Sunn O))) – Monoliths and Dimensions." Rock Sound (123): 87.
  13. ^ Beta, Andy. Monoliths & Dimensions review 2009-05-11. Retrieved on 2009-12-18.
  14. ^ Terrorizer Issue #183 May 2009
  15. ^ Mangoon. Monoliths & Dimensions review Retrieved on 2009-12-18.

External links[edit]