Customer Reviews


24 Reviews
5 star:
 (16)
4 star:
 (3)
3 star:
 (3)
2 star:
 (2)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favorable review
The most helpful critical review


30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Touchstone of the Genre
If you already know what this band is about, here's the short version of the review: You will be surprised, you will be transported, you will be lifted and you will not be disappointed. For those of you still uninitiated (or those of the initiated who still aren't sure what to expect), read on.

First off, this album still has the churning, heavy, droning,...
Published on May 26, 2009 by Jason

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars this is tough listening
Honestly this is difficult album to just sit and listen to. You have to be in a certain mood. There a four 'soungs' and each one is a droning depiction of dread. At least that's how I interpreted it. Maybe others will see it as lighter music. I did find this album quite facinating though and I will probably listen to it more down the road in the right sircumstances. Not...
Published on April 27, 2011 by chamohlamb


‹ Previous | 1 2 3 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Touchstone of the Genre, May 26, 2009
This review is from: Monoliths & Dimensions (Audio CD)
If you already know what this band is about, here's the short version of the review: You will be surprised, you will be transported, you will be lifted and you will not be disappointed. For those of you still uninitiated (or those of the initiated who still aren't sure what to expect), read on.

First off, this album still has the churning, heavy, droning, all-encompassing bass violence we've come to expect from Sunn O))). The downtuned chords still drone ad infinitum. Maximum volume still yields maximum results. But what we get here is an even greater expanded sense of dynamic contrast that was alluded to on their most recent live effort, DÝmkirke. Guest vocalist (and frequent Sunn O))) collaborator) Attila Csihar's monologues come off like a Hungarian Vincent Price at his most dark and unsettling.

Some of the most remarkable moments on this album though come not from O'Malley and Anderson or their core collaborators, but from the arrangements by composer Eyvind Kang. The band expressed early on prior to the release that the goal was to allude to "the timbre of feedback," and Kang's arrangements capture this perfectly. The line is often blurred between real feedback coming from the Guitars and Basses and the illusory feedback provided by the strings, horns and women's chamber choir. Of course, this expanded instrumentation does more than just that. The orchestral arrangements can be breathtaking, particularly in the album's closing piece, "Alice," where the chamber group and legendary trombonist Julian Priester swirl around one another to dazzling effect. It brings to mind what might happen if Aaron Copland's "prairie nationalism" were slowed down to a crawl and successfully combined with American Free Jazz.

This album is a masterpiece of experimental composition and a testament to the beauty that is possible in the "drone metal" genre. Get this, crank it up and lose yourself.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful., December 30, 2009
By 
This review is from: Monoliths & Dimensions (Audio CD)
Sunn has always been more than just the drone of their guitars. Their early works might have represented just those simple elements in their purest form, however, it's clear to me they've had higher artistic aspiration with every release of theirs. From working with Japanese noise legend Merzbow, recording abstracted covers of black metal standards and incorporating spoken word passages, what I find remarkable about the band is their ability to grab your attention with the ideas they employ within the stark framework of their compositions. 2005's "Black One" took their progression a couple steps further, with less emphasis on guitars and more on constructing a bleak atmosphere out of minimalist electronics and wind effects. The result was, in my opinion, their best work.

Until now. My first reaction was more invitational than off-putting. Not that this is alienating music by any right but there was a newfound warmth and vibrancy to the sounds here. The band themselves have stated that this album isn't just "Sunn with strings" and they couldn't be more right. The first piece has to be heard to be believed. It doesn't get more visceral than that. I just started imagining ancient buildings, dilapidation, stinging cold and malicious men in dark robes. The second piece (I hesitate calling these "songs" in any traditional sense) hit me right in the gut. Sprawling chords fused with the most haunting of minor key vocal choirs makes its ten minute run-time feel too brief. By this time I'm convinced this is their finest work to date and by the time the album is over when the guitars have faded into a lulling sonic sphere of brass, bells and even a harp and it's the most serene moment to be found on just about anything I've heard in the last few years I just have to say, this is amazing. It takes a certain measure of talent to fill you with dread one moment and peace the next. Sunn O ))) have this talent. I need to see them live!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Brilliant Album!, July 7, 2009
This review is from: Monoliths & Dimensions (Audio CD)
The black robe wearing kings of drone Greg Anderson and Stephen O' Malley who are Sunn O))) have set the bar so highly on "Monoliths and Dimensions" that no other doom metal album will be able to compare this year. Needless to say, you won't find many of the tracks in heavy rotation on radio due to their length and genre limitations. "Monoliths and Dimensions" is a massive album that consists of four songs with an approximate playtime of 53 minutes. Fresh from their recent outing "Domkirke" where they used the ancient cathedral as an instrument, Sunn O))) return with guest-star heavy songs intermixed with their drones. Whereas Sunn O))) previously had limited involvement with others such as Japanese noise rockers Boris and Oren Ambarchi, "Monoliths and Dimensions" is bursting full of musicians. Ambarchi returns as does Attila Csihar, Earth's Dylan Carson, trombonist Julian Priester and multi-instrumentalist Steve Moore.

"Monoliths and Dimensions" could have easily collapsed under the weight of all this collaboration but the change brings out the best in the band. Opener "Aghartha" is a plodding 17-minute epic that ominously oozes into the listener's brain as Attila Csihar intones about the creation of a new Earth. "Big Church" follows and feels like a ghostly soundtrack to a forgotten Italian horror film. Choirs envelope the surrounding drone while a chant begins another invocation. A guitar breaks the invocation like a scythe before the choir returns ratcheting up the tension to almost unbearable levels. "Hunting & Gathering" offers all the drama of good black metal. Crunchy guitars mesh next to heavy keys and bells. The most unexpected song on here is "Alice" an almost ambient piece resolved by the jazzy tones of Julian Priester's trombones. As "Monoliths and Dimensions" closes, it becomes obvious that Sunn O))) are standing at the precipice of a new form of unsympathetically heavy and intelligent metal. Somewhere, something is smiling from the abyss.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WOW!, December 10, 2009
This review is from: Monoliths & Dimensions (Audio CD)
This is definitely one of the best albums of this year. I would also like to say one of the most engrossing "metal" albums I have ever heard. It is so engrossing because it owes more to the classical compositions of the fifteenth century chamber music and Alice Coltrane/Pharoah Sanders than an early Earth record. I would say that anyone who has not liked Sunn O)) before should definitely check this one out. I was never a fan before (and I still don't like their other records even if I respect where they were coming from) and I am completely in love with what they have done this time. I really hope they expand on what they did here. The highlight of the album for is definitely "Alice".
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars EPIC DOOO))))MMM, May 27, 2009
This review is from: Monoliths & Dimensions (Audio CD)
This CD blew me away. I have yet to listen to it outside of headphones; I can only imagine how immersive an experience it is on big speakers at high volumes. 'Agharta' is a brilliantly evocative piece with Atila stealing the show with incredibly creepy intonations (he sings on 3 of the 4 tracks and is brilliant throughout). The final track, 'Alice' is a thing of pure beauty. Kudos to the all the fine musicians who have created one of the best Cds of the year!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars New directions in avant drone metal, November 20, 2009
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Monoliths & Dimensions (Audio CD)
Slow, heavy, beautiful, and very ritualistic. SunnO))) have really outdone themselves on this one. The inclusion of Hungarian yeti-style vocalist Attila Csihar is absolutely brilliant. I got a good deal on this on amazon.com after seeing the show and can't stop listening to it. There's so much going on here: a perfect merging of elements from 20th century classical music and the heaviness of black metal.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic album, poor item, February 5, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Monoliths & Dimensions (Audio CD)
I ordered Monoliths & Dimensions along with Black One, also by Sunn. Both are beautifully made albums. This one certainly is a high point for the band. It's not as perfect as White1 but it's definitely a step in the right direction. I have no complaints with the music or album I purchased. However, I was very disappointed by the case and packaging. First of all, the thin plastic sleeve that comes with the album is too small and just barely fits over the case. It took ten minutes to get the case out of it for fear I'd break it. Once the case was out, I noticed several cracks obtained from how the item was handled in the packaging, processing, and delivery procedures. I attempted to put the case back into the sleeve only for the sleeve to finally tear open because it was simply too tight. I feel a bit let down by the manufacturers and Amazon.

All in all, I'd give the album a 4/5 and the customer service a 2/5.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 53 minutes of completely destroying the amps., August 12, 2011
This review is from: Monoliths & Dimensions (Audio CD)
...and boy, does it deliver. Sunn O))) (merely pronounced 'Sun'), as many know, are an experimental drone doom metal band that have been getting lots of well deserved attention lately.

Sunn O))) was formed as a tribute to the band Earth by Stephen O Malley (guitars)and Greg Anderson (bass). The band has never had an official vocalist, though on this album the vocalist is Attila Csihar (awesome name) of Mayhem, who sings on three out of four of the tracks.

As most listeners of this band know, these guys need to be approached with caution. Sunn O))) are either a love it or hate it band, with most listeners of this band leaning towards the 'hate it' side, passing it off as mindless reverb noise drivel.

But it's not. Sunn O))) is not music - it's sound, pure raw, unstoppable sound. It may be music technically, but it is not music in the sense - that is exactly the point the band is trying to get across. People have an awful habit of thinking Sunn O))'s music is meant to entertain them.

However, this would be the essential Sunn O))) album to introduce people to the band with. It is without a doubt Sunn O)))'s most varied album to date, and most new listeners probably wouldn't pass it off as "just noise" like their other albums.

Their is only 4 tracks on the album, but the whole thing still manages to surpass 50 minutes in length. This is a good thing for me, as I'm a sucker for long songs.

Track 1: Aghartha (17:35)

The album kicks off with the 17 minute behemoth, "Aghartha". It begins with a LOUD riff which goes on for about 10 seconds before we get some sliding riffs which are just as slow. This hypnosis goes on for 5 minutes when Attila's vocals finally come in, who is reciting something about the creation of a second Earth. The riffs get progressively louder as the song goes on, specifically made clear around the 9 minute mark with distorted chords while a Xasthur like instrument plays in the background. There are a variety of odd sounds around 11 minutes in, with what sounds like wood cracking and someone using a typewriter, all the while the droning riffs refuse to end in the background. It calms down at around 13 minutes with more sounds under creepy chanting and Attila's voice. This continues on throughout the rest of the song until their is nothing but Attila's voice and the sound of wind, and everything fades to black. This song and the following are the more drone oriented songs on the album. It's probably the weakest track on the album, but it's still great nonetheless. SONG RATING: 7/10

Track 2: Big Church [megszentségteleníthetetlenségeskedéseitekért] (9:43)

The drone continues on this mighty track. It kicks off with an angelic but unsettling choir, preparing the listener for the heavy drone riffs half a minute in. The riffs are more varied and sinister than on "Aghartha", though not by much. We get more choirs under the heavy riffs and vocals as the song continues. Just when things feel like they're getting too intense to bear, the song gives the listener a breath of fresh air at 2:42 with the ringing of a church bell, and nothing more. It's calming, but unsettling, but you know the song isn't done with it's assualt. Before long, your theories are proven true, and the riffs come back for a second attack, and they're even more hungry for your blood than they were before. The vocals begin to get really unsettling around 5 minutes in, with what sounds like a sorcerer reciting a spell while the angelic choir plays. It continues it's chilling assault for minutes on end until finally, it's over. SONG RATING: 8/10

Track 3: Hunting and Gathering (Cynodia) (10:02)

This is definetely the highlight of the album, and one of the most listenable Sunn O))) songs the band has produced. It begins with an EXTREMELY distorted, surpisingly catchy riff before the distortion ends and the catchy riff becomes more audible, and you soon learn it is the main riff, a good feature given how awesome it is. Also, the riff sounds ALOT like "Boris" by The Melvins, which probably isn't a coincidence as Sunn O))) have been heavily influenced by the band. There's a weird string instrument at about 50 seconds in - I don't even know what it is, but it definetly adds to the atmosphere of the song. Attila's vocals are simply stunning in this number - I don't even know what he's saying, but he sounds possessed. At 2:30 there is a choir like in "Big Church". Their is many feedback-y sounds before everything ends, while the outro features a screeching feedback riff. SONG RATING: 9/10

Track 4: Alice (16:21)

After the storm of nightmarish heaviness that was the first three tracks, you expect the final one to be just the same. However, the listener is treated to a "ballad" - something Sunn O))) has never done in their entire career before this track. It begins with ambient sounds which go on for three minutes while an occasional acoustic, Tool-like riff strums in the background, followed by the ringing of some church bells. At about 5:50 there is a very majestic ambient sound, followed by heavy riffs which are still outshined by the acoustics. At about 12 minutes there is even a jazz influenced part, which takes up as the outro. It's a very pretty track, something not expected from Sunn O))). If Sunn O))) were to end their career after this album (which would be tragic), this is song would be the perfect way to go out. SONG RATING: 8/10

So that's it. This album is truly an experience, and I reccommend it to anyone who likes scary, dark music, limited percussion, and heavy as shrapnel guitars. This band gets a lot of undeserved but well backed up hate, but I am not one of the haters. If you like this type of music, listen and be blown away.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sunn o))) have truly outdone themselves with Monoliths and Dimensions, January 8, 2010
This review is from: Monoliths & Dimensions (Audio CD)
Everyone's favorite drone doom hipsters from the pacific northwest are back with their strongest offering to date. Monoliths and Dimensions builds even further on Sunn o)))'s signature drone doom legacy, but it also proves to be something remarkably different from the band. I have watched their evolution - from being a simple Earth 2 clone band to the experimental offerings of White 1 & 2 to the post-black metal and dark ambient stylings of Black 1. Monoliths is indeed the quintessential Sunn o))) record. Minimal, but the difference between past releases and this one is that there is far more texture and experimental tendencies in the sound. The songs also vary from one another, so people complaining about the band being too monotonous need not to worry with Monoliths and Dimensions.

This is easily Sunn's most versatile record to date.

Attila Csihar also returns to provide some pretty fantastic vocals. Varying from simple spoken word stuff to multiple layers of weird chanting. His vokills give Sunn o))) Monoliths and Dimensions an almost ritualistic sound, as if the music is being played in some dark cathedral somewhere in which the notoriously hooded band members are standing around in a circle chanting all kinds of sacrileges.

Highly recommended for fans of pure low end sound.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sunn O))) has given us their masterpiece, January 6, 2010
This review is from: Monoliths & Dimensions (Audio CD)
It seems as though Sunn O))) has given us their masterpiece; "Monoliths & Dimensions" takes everything that was great about their previous albums, combines it with a few radical new ideas, and the result is raw power with a decidedly conceptual component. It's one thing to create heavy music--many terrible bands are capable of that--but it's quite another to create heavy music with artistic meaning.

Sunn O))) is augmented by a host of collaborators for this outing, but they skillfully avoid becoming diluted by too many ideas. Make no mistake: the guitars are still central to the music; however, there are wonderful new elements, such as the female choir on Big Church. The radical juxtaposition of delicate, angelic female voices with the brutal darkness of the guitars is brilliant. Add in Attila Csihar's vocals, and you're got something sophisticated and powerful.

I particularly enjoyed Eyvind Kang's subtle touches. I've been a fan of Kang's work for years, but I didn't know what to expect when I found out he was collaborating with O'Malley and Anderson. You never know what to expect when you combine conventional acoustic instruments with electric guitars, but Kang handles it beautifully - everything coheres into a whole, a wonderful melange of musical creativity.

The timbral variety in Monoliths and Dimensions makes this a great place to start, although I should issue the standard warning: this music is not for everyone. If you think you know what heavy music is, but you've never heard Sunn O))), it's best that you listen to some samples first! For the adventurous listener, Sunn O)))'s masterpiece is a thoroughly rewarding listen full of hidden details that emerge upon repeat listenings. Buy this and enjoy at full volume!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 3 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

Details

Monoliths & Dimensions
Monoliths & Dimensions by Sunn 0))) (Audio CD - 2009)
Add to cart Add to wishlist
Search these reviews only
Rate and Discover Movies
Send us feedback How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you? Let us know here.