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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
on October 8, 2006
Chances are, you are not looking at the amazon page for _Flight of the Behemoth_ because you accidentally stumbled on to it. You are here because something brought you here, perhaps an article reference, perhaps words from a friend. Either way, the fact that you are even reading this at all tells me that you already have at least a partial affinity for music like this, even if you do not yet realize it. Now I want to show you why you need to have this album.

This album is almost trivially dark and doomy sounding at the surface. Yet as the sound slowly seethes, it becomes emotionally damaging, like a cruel, impotent rage that hungers for revenge. The force of Sunn 0))) is an exquisitely mapped evolution of guitar distortion -- accompanied with a little piano, percussion, and Merzbow - through which a story unfolds of something so horrifying, no one can speak about it. Speaking intelligibly, after all, requires language...and language requires reason. Reason must struggle with comprehending _Flight of the Behemoth_, as it can seemingly only operate on a primitive, intuitive level -- a subrational element suppressed in any civilized man, yet capable of response to the crude brutality of this music. If music-listening's value is about a narrowly defined pleasure or "nice feelings", then _Flight of the Behemoth_ (along with countless other works) must be considered illegitimate. But if aesthetic appreciation is about something more, and the musical experience is capable of being even more enriching beyond traditional concepts and emotions, then this is monumental. Its influences are clear, but it is beyond them.

"Death Becomes You" has the best opening in music history--ensure your stereo is cranked. The initial amplified tone dissolves into the droning sludge of guitar and bass distortion. This continues through "Mocking Solemnity", where layers of feedback churn violently. "0))) Bow 1" rumbles for about 45 seconds before an atonal piano figure, based around basically three notes, enters with sinister inelegance. It continues through waves of distortion and layers of noise manipulation (Merzbow!) that eventually becomes asphyxiating. "0))) Bow 2" starts like a junker chainsaw in a wind tunnel, until the sound is warped beyond recognition into a throbbing symphony of droning and electronics, against which the discordant piano is again set with almost nauseating effect. Out of this, near the end, you get one of the uncanny moments ever in music, with broken percussion chiming in a carnival-like melodic figure that slows down, speeds up, and disappears erratically. This is repeatedly, rapaciously pierced by the brutal static shards of...Merzbow again! As this fades away, it ends eerily with a electric guitars distorted with undulating effects as if they were the waves of a black ocean. "FWTBT" has a sludgy riff, which fades away eventually into a reprise of idiomatic droning Sunn chords, otherwise familiar until the incredibly creepy vocals emerge. They are like the bloody growls of a nightmarish beast. But nothing as pedestrian as a physical monster--rather, the beast within that struggles against reason and seeks to discorporate all humanity. When the album is over, the Behemoth is released.

The production is a marvel of audio engineering -- weirdly, you can listen to this album at very quiet volumes and find a whole new dimension to it. You can't do that with a lot of albums that are heavy. Don't worry though -- it's super-heavy, the way only Sunn 0))) can be. The bass is crushing, as must be expected, but what also seems to get special attention in this album is the flesh-quivering treble, raising the distortion to a spectrum smashing, all encompassing wall of death.

So you need this album.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on March 3, 2005
Yet another masterpiece album by Sunn 0))). I'll say this first..If you are just getting into Sunn 0))), and have none of their albums but are going to buy this one. I wouldn't, as it seems to be their most "different" album, if that makes sense. If you are new, i would try White 2 first.

This CD starts off so awesome..The first song "Mocking Solemnity", sounds like an Airplane taking off. And for the rest of the 9 mins of the song you are taken on a journey of sludgey riffs, and minor feedback. The song leads straight into "Death Becomes You", which goes for around 13 minutes. And it continues on, in the same fashion as "Mocking Solemnity".

The tracks that are definitely different and experimental, even for Sunn 0))), are the tracks 0))) Bow 1 and 0))) Bow 2. Working with Merzbow, who is just one of the many Japanese Noise Musicians. I've only ever heard one song by him, and that was "1930", which sounded like it was recorded inside a building that was collapsing. Very intense, and harsh. 0))) Bow 2, i think, is better than 0))) Bow 1. It sounds like going up and down in something. It's really trippy, and the start of the song sounds like going on a rollercoaster in a hailstorm. And if listened to up really loud, gives you the feeling of being sea-sick. It's awesome.

But the other reviewer i saw who said that the Merzbow/Sunn 0))) songs do end up sounding more like Merzbow, is right. In some parts you can't hardly tell that Sunn 0))) are playing. But it's still an interesting collaboration.

The last track, "F.W.T.B.T", goes back to more of the typical, ultra-heavy, low-end riffs. It's also a good song and probably my favourite track on here. Actually reminds me of a slower Eyehategod.

People say that Sunn 0))) are a"Tribute Band" to Earth. But that's not true. Yeah, they were influenced by Earth in alot of ways, but Sunn 0))) are doing their own thing. They were also influenced by Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin and The Melvins, just to name a few.

If you like this type of music, how can you go wrong? This album is definitely their most diverse recording, that i know of, mainly because of the collaboration with Merzbow, but that shouldn't keep you from buying this. It's truly a great album by Sunn 0))). And like i said, if you would like to get into Sunn 0))), and you're wondering which album to pick up first, i'd say go for White 2. And to those fans of Merzbow/Sunn 0)))/the Noise genre..this is highly recommended.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on September 12, 2005
I can't understand how this album is getting 3 1/2 stars. All of Sunn0)))'s albums have pretty much the same idea, lowest level of handling, but the music is so interesting that it sounds like nothing ever put out before. I believe these guys are way different from Earth. There are Earth elements, definately, but a totally different style.

Do yourself a favor, if you came here to check out a little more information about Sunn0))), ignore the negative reviews and buy this, or White2 for starters. Listen to them on a nice set of speakers, lay back and settle yourself. You'll find yourself in a completely different world. Sunn 0))) brings you there.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on January 27, 2008
I sometimes awake in an inexplicably foul mood, wondering if I've had dreams too unsettling to recall. Fortunately, my lovely fiancé made a point of being especially cute and funny so that I would start the day with a smile. I listened to 'Flight of the Behemoth' by Sunn 0))) for the entire 30 minute commute, that is to say, through about 3 songs. This is an early album, but I'm eager to hear more variations on the theme, as their `Drone Metal' does exactly what I hoped it'd do, which is to make my music experience more conscious. If it takes minimalist soundscapes of guitar distortion and noises rather than songs to do it, so be it. During the drive, when I took the long slow turn onto an adjacent highway, I looked up a hill, through a gathering of saplings, at a new sun. It was so beautiful I almost took my eyes off the road, and when a mile later someone almost hit me while trying to cut me off, I slowed to let them in, not even mad. For a moment I took intentional distortions as a skipping CD, then thought of twigs snapping to build a life or death fire. The puddles at the edges of the landfill became ponds and the frost at the edges of the driving range became magic. This stuff does not make me `peaceful,' much less `passive,' but it does make me glad to be alive, and aware.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on December 16, 2005
For those of you who are looking into Sunn O))) for the first time, "Flight of the Behemoth" is a great place to start your journey. The album begins with "Mocking Solemnity" a gigantic slab of molten riffery that ebbs and flows with hypnotic grace. Next is "Death Becomes You" which continues perfectly with the hypnotic drone, however there are a few variations on the riff which you should catch if you haven't already zoned out. So there you are feeling totally relaxed when all of the sudden "BOW O))) 1" starts and throws you out of your comfort zone and into the middle of a fight between two snarling and extremely angry dogs. "BOW O))) 2" continues along the same lines only now Merzbow is warping the riffs and adding a little f****d up piano here and there,oh so awesome, and you know what?! Things only get better from there. After the Merzbow remixes comes the albums excellent closer "F.W.T.B.T" which if you didn't already know is a "cover" of the classic Metallica song "For Whom The Bell Tolls". Bear in mind that Sunn O))) has altered the song in such a way that one would be hard pressed to find parallels between this version and the original version. All said "Flight of the Behemoth" is an incredible album. Highly recommended!
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on October 5, 2013
Five songs, including two remixed by Merzbow (who also works with Boris – the connection between the three bands is strong, as the Sunn 0))) guys run a label, Southern Lord, that distributes Boris releases in the U.S.A., and they have collaborated on an album together as well). The first song starts off exctingly, with a rising bass sound, but then goes on for over 20 minutes of booming and bass-heavy buzzing. In fact, it sounds like just a single bass groaning away, although I’m sure there’s more happening here than seems at first. Still, it’s very much like Earth for those parts. In fact, it’s practically indistinguisable from Earth on those parts. The Merzbow remixed tracks are a bit different, however, with layers of strange noises going on top of the bass, mesmerizing. The final track is called “F.W.T.B.T.” (the initials stand for “For Whom The Bell Tolls,” the title of both the Ernest Hemingway novel and also the Metallica song”. The full title is actually “F.W.T.B.T (I Dream of Lars Ulrich Being Thrown Through the Bus Window Instead of My Mystikal Master Kliff Burton)”, a bit WEIRD and agenda-laden. The track is more of the usual, but with some cool jazzy snare drums stroked with a brush in an almost Twin Peaks Angelo Badalamenti-sort of way. Very doom-laden and spooky, with some creepy moaning and groaning going on.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on August 6, 2004
It' said that SunnO))) resemblances Earth much, I don't know about that, but if so hardly this item does. Bought this mostly because of Merzbow's appearance and not only the two tracks in which he contributes are great but the whole set. What makes the slow and machine like drone come to it's proper place is that there's no drummer present so one can enjoy the noises without having to cope with misplaced drumming. The old aircraft machine that flies around is very meditative and graphic. There's not much metal in these compositions on the surface even though the traces are clearly there. I think this piece is very very important and groundbreaking and could be made much out of, especially in the metal scene. I can only regret the occultic strain that is used tho.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on November 23, 2005
i have been a sunn 0))) fan for a few years now and i totally disagree with all the bad stuff people is saying about this album...YES it is hard to listen to ..YES most of you Wont Like...YES its the best thing sunn has released until black one was released

its a solid album but sometimes the merzbow tracks get boring and i skip them but i never skip them until i have heard the symphony of chainsaw as you get sucked into the black hole...possibly the greatest thing i have ever heard

if you have any musical taste and are open minded this could be a ever lasting reward
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on March 13, 2004
The first two tracks are excellent, however the two Merzbow produced tracks take away the reasons I listen to Sunn in the first place by adding in lots of electronic noises, squeaks, and the like.
The last track "For Whom the Bell Tolls" is excellent, though.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on October 31, 2003
Don't understand the review before this. Impossibly dense metal.
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