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Album Review

A companion piece to the previous year's White 1, White 2 once again sees bottom-frequency explorers Sunn O))) stretching their creative limits with three very distinctive, extended pieces of ambient, nearly subsonic non-doom. Indeed, like all Sunn O))) releases before it, White 2 is a pretty specialized affair; offering the sort of bowel-affecting music that would probably stump 99 percent of the planet — unable to grasp collaborators Greg Anderson and Stephen O'Malley's subversive mission of sound in the first place. But for the 1 percent who get it, White 2 represents as uncompromising and usually satisfying a vision of mind-blowing adventure one is likely to find in fringe-metallic quarters. Opener "Hell-o)))-Ween" (a mere song snippet at 14 minutes!) latches onto a series of unfeasibly thick power chords that then proceed to rumble and cascade endlessly upon themselves, patiently building in intensity as they go. The 23-minute "bassAliens" takes a different, more subtle and diverse approach: swimming down to deep, impenetrably dark oceanic trenches before slowly surfacing by way of electronic bleeps and blurps, ultimately cresting in a series of loosely structured digital echoes and electronic farts. Finally, the disc's closing, 25-minute colossus "Decay2 (Nihils' Maw)," utilizes windy sheets of feedback, ghostly cries, and ghastly shrieks to assemble White 2's most haunting and compelling architecture. Further adorned with bizarre bits of synthetic noise and obscure dialogue, this movement is most notable for featuring unnaturally guttural, nearly unintelligible drone vocals recited by Mayhem legend Attila Csihar, and, in the end, his presence ensures a fittingly cathartic climax for Sunn O)))'s latest groundbreaking outing.


Formed: 1998 in Seattle, WA

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

The self-described "power ambient" duo Sunn 0))) (pronounced "Sun") were formed in the mid-'90s by guitarists Stephen O'Malley (Khanate, Burning Witch) and Greg Anderson (Goatsnake, Thorr's Hammer). Known for its drone-heavy blend of black metal, dark ambient, and low-tuned noise rock, the band took inspiration from the early works of the Melvins and Earth, the latter of whom inspired some of the group's song titles -- Sunn 0))) began as an Earth tribute band in Los Angeles and originally played...
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White2, Sunn O)))
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