Sunn 0))) is the modern day equivalent of the legendary Sub Pop band Earth: slow, plodding, bass heavy, bowel shaking, scathing, dark, gloomy, lost and black. The band has established itself well, and has become renowned for its devastating live performances of extreme low-end carnage. White2 is their fifth album, and it offers little in the way of hope or optimism.
The album is over an hour long, yet features only three songs. The first is “Hell-O)))-Ween,” which is basically a fifteen minute dirge powered by a simple, distorted guitar progression with a continuous, monotonous bass drone underneath. When played loudly (very loudly), the bass makes your chest feel really funny and warm.
“Bass Aliens” is much spookier, playing more with atmosphere than the previous track. The guitars are not distorted, but instead play weird, subdued, almost Sonic Youth (Confusion is Sex-era) parts. The guitars are covered up a bit with the addition of piano and synthesizer. Now when I speak of guitars and pianos, you need to realize that the notes themselves are played very sparsely and quietly, with the constant “instrument” of choice being a low, rumbling growl of thunder.
The final track, “Decay2,” is a desolate expanse under the blanket of complete doom. The lovely and talented Attila Csihar stopped by to offer his voice. The result is rather soothing, yet incredibly dark, as my wife (a non-metal fan) says it makes her feel like she is in a morgue. There are no easily discernable instruments, making for a rather music-less track. It’s more an atmosphere piece than anything else.
White2 is incredible. For me, the album makes awesome reading music, especially when reading something brooding and dark, like Hawthorne or Plath. If you think Sunn 0))) is a sludge band, they’re not; metal fans might not like this, as Sunn 0))) is more about dark atmosphere than metal. Personally, I enjoy it, and will recommend it to fans of the darker side of life.
Southern Lord: www.southernlord.com