Sunn-O - Black One

"Also enjoyable are some of the descriptions of the instruments played on each track. What on Earth is Mystik Fogg Indikator's icy inverted crosswinds upon four strings zamboni?"


 


Sunn-O - Black One


 


The artwork gives the latest Sunn-O release away I'm afraid. The cover shot is a close-up of a wood, the gnarled tree trunks presenting a formidable, rather Gothic barrier rather like an Anselm Kiefer woodcut, or a Casper David Friedrich painting. The booklet contains some rather morose jottings on the opening page. Here's a quick taster, as its pretty representative of the text.


 


"Scabs of the past peeling slowly from a dark and distant memory"


 


The last page of the booklet gives some credits, but that's all as 12 pages of the 16 page booklet are bare, and a glossy black ornamented solely with silver illustration of either a sword or a candelabra – I can't decide which.


 


If the intention of the band was to visually forewarn their potential audience of the nature of the music contained on this CD, then they have succeeded quite brilliantly. The music itself is monolithically, heroically dark; quite how they get guitars to sound like a wind whistling through the embers of a mountain fire is beyond me, but they do. It's enchantingly morose, Gothic to a fault – Gothic in the sense that you can imagine Shelley and Byron listening to this.


 


If I may be allowed to nominate and describe a favourite track (I still find it a miracle that I an able to discern between them), I shall have to plumb for Cursed Realms of the Winter Demons - which sounds like a soundtrack that Fenris the Wolf could enjoy. Effectively it's a ten minute interview with the dead, but don't let that put you off. Also enjoyable are some of the descriptions of the instruments played on each track. What on Earth is Mystik Fogg Indikator's icy inverted crosswinds upon four strings zamboni?


 


Words: Richard Foster.