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SOUTHERN LORD

Earth

Primitive And Deadly - 2023 Reissue

    For the first time in their diverse second act, they allow themselves to be a rock band, freed of adornment and embellishment. As much as Carlson’s guitar has always been the focal point of EARTH’s music, it’s been surrounded by consistently diverse instrumentation. Here the dialog between Carlson and Davies drumming remains pivotal, underpinned by the sympathetic bass of Bill Herzog (Sunn O))), Joel RL Phelps, Jesse Sykes and the Sweet Hereafter) and thickened by additional layers of guitar from Brett Netson (Built To Spill, Caustic Resin) and Jodie Cox (Narrows). Perhaps the largest left turn on Primitive And Deadly, though, is the prominence of guest vocalists Mark Lanegan and Rabia Shaheen Qazi (Rose Windows) who transform the traditionally free ranging meditations of EARTH into something approaching traditional pop structures.

    On “Rooks Across the Gates,” a song stylistically the closest to the folk inspired modality of Angels Of Darkness, Carlson stretches out into some of his most lyrical playing to date, creating an almost symbiotic relationship between his performance and the vocals of old friend Mark Lanegan. “From the Zodiacal Light,” meanwhile, takes the late 60s San Franciscan/freaked-out jazz-rock transcendence of The Bees Made Honey In The Lion’s Skull and quickly re-appropriates that sound into a musky torch song for the witching hour.

    This contradictive tension between a band pushing itself ever-forward whilst surveying their history is reflected in the albums twin recording locales. The foundation of the record was laid in the mystic desert highlands of Joshua Tree, California where EARTH recorded hour after hour of meditations on each track's central theme at Rancho de la Luna. Upon returning to Seattle these were edited, arranged and expanded upon at Avast with the help of long-term collaborator Randall Dunn (who was previously at the helm for the Hex, The Bees Made Honey In The Lion's Skull and Hibernaculum sessions).


    TRACK LISTING

    A1 Torn By The Fox Of The Crescent Moon
    A2 There Is A Serpent Coming
    B From The Zodiacal Light
    C1 Even Hell Has Its Heroes
    C2 Rooks Across The Gate
    D Badgers Bane

    Burning Witch

    Towers - 2023 Reissue

      The first Burning Witch album. Circa 1996. Recorded by Steve Albini.

      Blurred edges of consciousness voids: Tme manipulaTon, experiments in black down -tuned drone and harrowing vocals.

      Members went on to: sunn O))), Khanate, Goatsnake, ASVA.

      An important artifact of the cryptic domain.

      TRACK LISTING

      A1 Sacred Predictions 7:05
      A2 Country Doctor 10:20
      B1 Tower Place 5:25
      B2 Sea Hag 14:18

      Burning Witch

      Rift Canyon Dreams - 2023 Reissue

        The second Burning Witch album. Circa 1997.

        Blurred edges of consciousness voids: Tme manipulaTon, experiments in black down -tuned drone and harrowing vocals. Members went on to: sunn O))), Khanate, Goatsnake, ASVA.

        An important artifact of the cryptic domain.

        TRACK LISTING

        A1 Warning Signs 8:22
        A2 Stillborn 11:57
        B1 History Of Hell (Crippled Lucifer) 6:03
        B2 Communion 8:43

        Sunn 0))) And Boris

        Altar - 2023 Reissue

          The vinyl version of this album has been out of print for over 15 years. This version will be from a new vinyl lacquer cut by Matt Colton.

          Altar is a collaboration album between experimental music groups Boris and Sunn O))), originally released on October 31, 2006 through Southern Lord Records (SUNN62). in addition to major players Sunn O))) and Boris.

          Altar also boasts an extensive roster of guest musicians/collaborators such as Kim Thayil (Soundgarden), Joe Preston (Earth, Thrones, Melvins, High on Fire), Phil Wandscher and Jesse Sykes (both of Jesse Sykes and the Sweet Hereafter) as well as long time Sunn O))) collaborators TOS Niewenhuizen and Rex Ritter.

          TRACK LISTING

          Side A : Etna
          Side B : N.L.T. , The Sinking Belle (Blue Sheep)
          Side C : Akuma No Kuma, Fried Eagle Mind
          Side D : Blood Swamp

          The Lord + Petra Haden

          Devotional

            Devotional is a new collaborative album with Greg Anderson (sunn O))), Goatsnake, Engine Kid) + vocalist and violinist Petra Haden, who first worked with Anderson during his time in Goatsnake, as well as on the second SUNN O))) studio album, ØØ Void.

            Devotional is a rapturous and heady offering of wordless vocalizations, droning guitars, and heaviness explored in unexpected and intoxicating ways. Inspirations came from deep listening to Indian classical music, as well as a fascinating look at the chaotic and unbelievable life of Ma Anand Sheela and the Rajneesh community.

            Through a haze of incense, flowing robes, and secret mantras, Haden's voice rings out over constant drones in ecstatic chants throughout this musical investigation into the myriad of ways in which worship can lure and intoxicate. This is a journey that Haden and Anderson go on together, the guitar and vocals combined like the call and response of a guru and their congregation. Greg Anderson comments on the album, "I'm extremely happy with the recordings we made together. Petra's vocals bring a whole new dimension to the heaviness."

            Petra Haden comments, “It was so much fun getting to play and sing on SUNN O)))’s album ØØ Void. 20 years later, I’m on stage with them at The Mayan Theater in Los Angeles singing and playing on the encore. I was in heaven! After the show, Greg and I talked about working on more music together. When I heard his ideas, I already had melodies in my head. I recorded some ideas at home and it developed from there. Greg is a really deep listener and he’s so much fun to work with. Getting to collaborate with Greg reminds me why I love to sing and improvise. I feel free and happy. That’s what music is all about."

            Seductive and hypnotic, Devotional is an intriguing new chapter in The Lord’s exploration of heavy music. 


            TRACK LISTING

            1. Devotional
            2. Rise To Diminish
            3. What Lies Behind Us Lies Buried Because It Is Dead
            4. Ma Anand Sheela
            5. Yaman
            6. The End Of Absence

            Sunn O)))

            Metta, Benevolence. BBC 6Music : Live On The Invitation Of Mary Anne Hobbs

              To enter the legendary John Peel studios was to enter a temple of music and experimentation, liberty in ideas and sound. The band was nearing the end of a long touring year around the Life Metal and Pyroclast albums.

              SUNN O))) had developed the compositions extensively, embracing the formative concepts of the Life Metal album conceptually and emotionally, but actualised and evolved into vast, open and bright hypersaturated arrangements. Particularly the pieces the band chose to perform on this recording: Troubled Air and Pyroclasts. The former enriched into a total aspect of the band's ethos and form in many ways, and Pyroclasts had evolved to become all-inclusive radiation of O))).

              The radiation embraces collaboration and freedom of interpretation by each player, within a structural format of the massive monuments of sound and distortion which define SUNN O))). Anna Von Hausswolf and her band had accompanied SUNN O))) on the UK leg, and Anna joined SUNN O))) in the studio on synths and with her tremendous voice on the Pyroclasts pieces.

              Stephen O’Malley (Electric Guitar, Minimoog Model D synthesizer)
              Greg Anderson (Electric Guitar, Sequential Circuits Prophet-5 synthesizer)
              Tos Nieuwenhuizen (Moog Rogue synthesizer)
              Stephen Moore (Trombone, Roland Junior-106 (mod) & Nord Stage (gaffed black) synthesizers)
              Tim Midyett (Electric Bass Guitar, Roland Juno-106 synthesizer)
              Anna von Hausswolff (Voice & Nord C2D synthesizer on Pyroclasts F & C#)


              TRACK LISTING

              CD Tracklist:
              1. Pyroclasts F 15.08
              2. Pyroclasts C# 14.11
              3. Troubled Air 31.44

              Vinyl Tracklist:
              A: Pyroclasts F 15:08
              B: Pyroclasts C# 14:11
              C: Troubled Air 00:00-19:00
              D: Troubled Air (continued) 19:00-31:44

              Nadja

              Luminous Rot

                Mixed by DAVID PAJO (Slint, Tortoise, Will Oldham and more..) Nadja is a duo of multi-instrumentalist Aidan Baker and bassist Leah Buckareff—active since 2005—and making music which can be described as ambient doom, dreamsludge, or metalgaze. Nadja’s signature sound combines the atmospheric textures of shoegaze and ambient/electronic music with the heaviness, density, and volume of metal, noise, and industrial. For their new album, Luminous Rot, the duo retain their overblown/ambient sound, and explore shorter and more tightly structured songs reflecting their interests not only in metal, but post-punk, cold-wave, shoegaze, and industrial. 

                Thematically, Luminous Rot explores ideas of 'first contact' and the difficulties of recognising alien intelligence. This was in part inspired by reading such writers as Stanislaw Lem and Cixin Lui -- in particular, theories on astro-physics, multi-dimensionality, and spatial geometry in "The Three Body Problem" -- as well as Margaret Wertheim's "A Field Guide To Hyperbolic Space," about mathematician Daina Taimina's work with crochet to illustrate hyperbolic space and geometry.

                The album was recorded between their home studio, Broken Spine Studios, or Nadja’s live rehearsal studio, both in the district of Lichtenberg, Berlin. Luminous Rot marks the first album mixed by someone else, who in this case was David Pajo. The band comment, “as big fans of Slint, we thought he might fore-front the more angular, post-punk elements of our music - the mix is quite different from our previous albums. But, as usual, we had James Plotkin (Khanate, OLD, etc) master the album as we trust his ears and aesthetic, as he's mastered numerous records of ours.”

                TRACK LISTING

                1 Intro
                2 Luminous Rot
                3 Cuts On Your Hands
                4 Starres
                5 Fruiting Bodies
                6 Dark Inclusions

                Sunn O)))

                Flight Of The Behemoth

                  "Flight of the Behemoth" is the third album by sunn O))).

                  The band collaborated with legendary Japanese noise artist Merzbow, who mixed tracks 3 and 4. The first ever use of a drum machine on a sunn O))) track is heard on "F.W.T.B.T.", a deconstructive interpretation of Metallica's "For Whom the Bell Tolls”.

                  This punisher also features the first ever vocals heard as evoked from the band themselves.

                  Contains full color 24”x36” folded poster and all this grimness is housed in a glorious case-wrapped gatefold jacket. Also contains the vinyl only bonus track: "Grimm & Bear It”.

                  Vinyl/metal cut by Matt Colton (Alchemy Mastering) who also cut the vinyl for the bands 2019 releases: “Life Metal” & “Pyroclasts.


                  TRACK LISTING

                  1. Mocking Solemnity
                  2. Death Becomes You
                  3. O))) Bow 1
                  4. O))) Bow 2
                  5. F.w.t.b.t.
                  6. Grimm & Bear It

                  Anna Von Hausswolff

                  All Thoughts Fly

                    Here in solo instrumental mode, the entire record consists of just one instrument, the pipe organ, and represents absolute liberation of the imagination.All Thoughts Fly radiates a melancholic beauty, and is distinguished by fluid transitions of contrasting elements; calmness and drama, harmony and dissonance, much like the place that inspires the music.

                    Sacro Bosco is a garden,based in the centre of Italy,containing grotesque mythological sculptures and buildings overgrown with vegetation, situated in a wooded valley beneath the castle of Orsini.Created during the 16th Century, Sacro Bosco was commissioned by Pier Francesco Orsini, some say to try and cope with his grief following the death of his wife Guilia Farnese, others speculate the purpose was to create art.

                    About the album Anna explains“there’s a sadness and wilderness that inspired me to write this album, also a timelessness. I believe that this park has survived not only due to its beauty but also because of the iconography, it has been liberated from predictable ideas and ideals. The people who built this park truly set their minds and imagination free. All thoughts fly is a homage to this creation, and an effort to articulate the atmosphere and the feelings that this place evokes inside of me. It’s a very personal interpretation of a place that I lack the words to describe. I’d like to believe Orsini built this monumental park out of grief for his dead wife, and in my Sacro Bosco I used this story as a core for my own inspiration: love as a foundation for creation.”

                    The organ on All Thoughts Fly is situated in Gothenburg and is a Swedish replica of the Arp Schnitger organ in Germany. It is the largest organ tuned in Quarter-comma meantone temperament in the world. With it’s four manuals, one pedal and 54 stops, it was built as part of a ten-year research project reconstructing 17th Century North German organ building craft. The tuning temperament is an important detail to note here, as it deeply affects the sound and tuning, and thus radically changed the process of creating this album. Anna speaks of a pleasant surprise during recording, the organ's ability to create beautiful "pitching" notes through its stops and air supply system. She remarks “We took advantage of this so most of the pitching sounds and notes that you hear on the album comes from the mechanics of this organ, effects made entirely acoustically." The organ was recorded with two room mics for atmosphere and two pairs of close mics placed inside the organ to capture nuances and detail for further organ sound processing by Filip Leyman in his studio.


                    TRACK LISTING

                    1. Theatre Of Nature
                    2. Sacro Bosco
                    3. Dolore Di Orsini
                    4. Persefone
                    5. Entering
                    6. All Thoughts Fly
                    7. Outside The Gate (For Bruna) 

                    Pelican

                    Nighttime Stories

                      Pelican, the instrumental quartet whose singular vision of heavy music eschews classification, have announced their first full length in six years, Nighttime Stories, via Southern Lord Recordings.

                      The eight-song set marks the band’s first release written front to back with guitarist Dallas Thomas, who took over guitar duties upon founding member Laurent Schroeder-Lebec’s departure in 2012. In the process of writing the album the quartet endured a slew of realisations, tragedies, and glimmers of optimism that guided the creative process to the most potent work of their nineteen-year career.

                      Though the new material veers towards the darker tone characteristic of Pelican’s early songwriting, it’s hard to imagine a previous incarnation of the band writing songs as meticulously crafted and detail-oriented as those within Nighttime Stories, where the compositions recall everything from the triumphant call-to-arms of classic Dischord, to the vicious troglodyte battery of the Melvins, to the dynamic interwoven melodies of bottom-heavy indie cult heroes Chavez.

                      Nighttime Stories was an album title initially proposed for Tusk, the hallucinatory art-grind band that included Pelican members Trevor Shelley de Brauw, Larry Herweg, and Schroeder-Lebec, in addition to vocalist Jody Minnoch. The writing of Nighttime Stories was instigated shortly after Minnoch’s unexpected death in 2014, and some of the dissonant viscera and dark psychedelic structures that were characteristic of Tusk’s sound began to unconsciously inform the album’s direction. In homage to their departed colleague, Pelican applied the previously discarded title and pulled many of the song titles from notes Minnoch had sent to inspire the direction of the unrealized album. As the writing of Nighttime Stories progressed Thomas also experienced a heavy loss with the passing of his father, to whom the album pays tribute on opening track “W.S.T.” (on which Dallas performed his guitar parts on his father’s Yamaha acoustic).

                      Pelican have always excelled at vacillating between the savage sounds of various niches of metal underground and the more delicate and nuanced sounds of Midwest’s cerebral indie community, proving that they can make either end of the spectrum more vibrant and compelling through the art of contrast. With Nighttime Stories, the pendulum has swung back to the angst and ire of their younger years while delivering it with the nuance and wisdom that’s come with nearly two decades of writing and performing.

                      STAFF COMMENTS

                      Barry says: I remember first hearing Pelican's mindblowing 'Australasia' in the early 00's and being genuinely surprised that post-metal could so skilfully toe the line between the brain-melting heaviness of Isis (not that Isis), and the brittle minimalistic guitars of Explosions In The Sky or the like. 'Nighttime Stories' is more evidence that they continue to dominate the scene, and with it progress to the modern era.

                      TRACK LISTING

                      1. WST
                      2. Midnight And Mescaline
                      3. Abyssal Plain
                      4. Cold Hope
                      5. It Stared At Me
                      6. Nighttime Stories
                      7. Arteries Of Blacktop
                      8. Full Moon, Black Water
                      9. Darkness

                      Sunn O)))

                      Life Metal

                        Continuing one of the main currents of the Sunn O))) concept, depth of exploration within collaboration, brought forth Hildur Guðnadóttir to the Sunn O))) constellation. Hildur is a sometime live collaborator of Sunn O))) and a renowned film music composer, former member of the bands Múm, Pan Sonic and Angel. She was a long time collaborator with the composer Jóhann Jóhannsson (RIP). Hildur lent her incredible attitude, as well as her voice, breath and electric cello, and the enigmatic haldorophone to the proceedings, culminating in the epic composition/concerto "Novæ". The cosmos clearly expands.

                        At the very beginning of 2018 Sunn O))) co-founders Stephen O'Malley & Greg Anderson set out on a path toward a new album production. They were both determined to create new music and a new method of working in the studio, without forgetting the long and proud history of production and studio accomplishments forged during their first two decades of existence (and the members' own musical experiences out of the band's). One long term goal was completely clear: to record Sunn O))) with Steve Albini in his Electrical Audio studio. Steve took the call, said "Sure, this will be fun. I have no idea what is going to happen."

                        Greg and Stephen gathered twice that spring for writing, conceptualising and riff woodshedding in the very building where the band was formed: Downtown Rehearsal in Los Angeles. Sonic cosmoses, flashes of abstract colour (synthetic and objective) and themes emerged from the mastered depths of saturation and circuits between the two players and their mountains of gear. Themes developed in terms of brightness and energy, while visionary cues pointed toward subconscious areas of practice and the pair realised they were exploring other zones of consciousness via sound/time and sound/energy manipulation. In early summer a pre-production session with full backline, as a trio with T.O.S. on Moog, was recorded at Dave Grohl’s 606 studios, Northridge, California.

                        In July 2018 Sunn O))) spent just over two weeks in Chicago at Electrical Audio (Studio A) with Steve Albini at the helm. The results are astounding: there is breadth and luminosity of colour, it sounds vast. The sessions were impeccably recorded, authentically represented and completely accurate. The spectrum cracked the firmament open in clarity. An all analogue technique was used, they recorded and mixed on tape, providing a creative gateway for Sunn O))) to evolve their production methods into stronger, confident, performance based and a more logical executive process. The album was mastered and lacquers cut from tape in October by Sunn O))) ally Matt Colton at Alchemy in London. The LP version is a AAA album, recorded and mixed on tape via a completely analogue production, from the input of the band's amplifiers and the air coming off the speakers in front of the microphones to the needle touching the pressed vinyl on your turntable.

                        Tim Midyett, a close friend of Greg and Stephen since the Seattle days of the early 90s (and member of Silkworm, Bottomless Pit and Mint Mile), joined in a foundational role tying earth to sound with wicked performances on aluminium neck bass and baritone guitars: instruments he helped pioneer playing back in the 90s (alongside Steve and Shellac of course). Dark matter is reality.

                        Prolific new music composer Anthony Pateras arranged and recorded an incredible contribution of pipe organ for a piece titled "Troubled Air" (titled after an essay by author Aliza Shvarts, who also penned the liner notes for Sunn O)))’s Kannon) at Schlosskappelle, Schloss Solitude, Stuttgart. String theory of space.

                        The resulting album is titled Life Metal. It is fully realised and completely real. The record was produced by the core of Stephen & Greg & arranged by the greater constellation Sunn O))). Paintings by visual artist Samantha Keely Smith graciously adorn the sleeve and provide a perfect suitable mask to the proceedings. They collide ideas of 19th century romanticism & late 20th abstract expressionism (mysticism) with Sunn O)))’s approach to metal (via reference points of Arbo, Turner, Delville, Richter, Turrel, Wou-Ki). Photographer Ronald Dick shot them in baths of light colour representing depth of sound pressure in the work.

                        There is a second more meditative LP titled Pyroclasts, also recorded by Steve Albini in parallel, and which will be revealed in the autumn 2019 (more later) with all music performed by Stephen, Greg, T.O.S., Tim Midyett, and Hildur Guðnadóttir. 


                        STAFF COMMENTS

                        Barry says: It's another amazing LP from Sunn here, enlisting the help of Múm's Hildur Gudnadottir on vocal duties to superb effect. Her music has always been beautiful in it's own regard (Múm being one of my absolute favourites) and it's lighter touch and orchestral delicacy adds beautifully to the famously all-encompassing drone of O'Malley and Anderson. Absolutely stunning.

                        TRACK LISTING

                        LP1
                        A) Between Sleipnirs Breaths (12.36)
                        B) Torubled Air (11.45)

                        LP2
                        A) Aurora (19.06)
                        B) Novæ (26.24)

                        Caspar Brotzmann Massaker

                        Black Axis

                          Caspar Brötzmann Massaker’s masterful second album from 1989 - remastered.

                          The power trio’s blunt force execution is directed by Brötzmann’s explosive and exquisite six string conjuration. Channeling Hendrixian vibrations, mixed with hard German industrial atmosphere.


                          TRACK LISTING

                          1. Die Tiere
                          2. Hunter Song
                          3. Bohmen
                          4. Mute
                          5. Templehof
                          6. Black Axis

                          Unsane

                          Sterilize

                            Closing a five-year gap since the 2012 release of their Wreck LP through Alternative Tentacles, UNSANE makes a vicious return with the pummeling Sterilize, a record that recalls the most defining elements of the band's seminal Scattered, Smothered, And Covered and Occupational Hazard albums, surging with the band's unrelenting singular sound created by guitarist/vocalist Chris Spencer, bassist/vocalist Dave Curran, and drummer Vinnie Signorelli.

                            The band's gnarled blend of punk, metal, noise, and hardcore helping to define the "AmRep sound" alongside other forerunners of the style, Today Is The Day, The Jesus Lizard, Helmet, Tad, Cows, Halo Of Flies, Melvins, and others. Sterilize was produced by UNSANE, recorded by Dave Curran at Gatos Trail Studios in Yucca Valley, California, mixed by Andrew Schneider at Acre in New York City, and mastered by Carl Saff at Saff Mastering in Chicago.

                            Since 1988, UNSANE has pounded the planet with their caustic grooves and foundation-crumbling riffs, having released LPs through a wide range of labels including Matador/Atlantic, Amphetamine Reptile, Relapse, Ipecac, Alternative Tentacles, and others, not to mention a wide range of singles, splits, and live albums. Sterilize showcases UNSANE sounding as dense and damaging as ever, and sees them remaining as necessary as ever, nearly three decades since they began.

                            TRACK LISTING

                            1. Factory
                            2. The Grind
                            3. Aberration
                            4. No Reprieve
                            5. Lung
                            6. Inclusion
                            7. Distance
                            8. A Slow Reaction
                            9.Parasitic
                            10. Avail

                            Circle

                            Terminal

                              Searing platter of krautrock with scorching doses of The Stooges & Judas Priest. Another ripper from this legendary Finnish horde!

                              Circle are the very definition of genre-defying, a rare feat for any band, but effortlessly achieved by this prolific Finnish collective. Circle's latest album Terminal is pure hedonistic pleasure.

                              Never content on staying the same, they have created an idiosyncratic cocktail of sonic fusions, conjuring an impulsive, dizzying energy that stirs a spirit of curiosity within the listener, and has the ability to possess all who encounter them.

                              Whilst many would run out of creative steam (certainly after 30+ albums), Circle continue to boldly explore sonic soundscapes, venturing curiously into terrains of Stooges-esque swagger, trance-inducing kraut rock mantras, beautiful electronic ambience, psychedelic rock noodling, arena storming AOR weirdness, 70s prog rock extravagance, glam pop pomp, and of course their core sound, heavy metal, not to mention other peculiar and daring sounds that simply cannot be pigeon-holed.

                              Terminal is gloriously fruitful in tones, shapes, colours and sounds. Eccentric, accessible, delightful and thrilling.


                              Sunn O)))

                              Kannon

                                Over the last two years SUNN O))) has released critically acclaimed collaboration albums with SCOTT WALKER and ULVER.

                                Kannon is an album which was composed in the aftershadow of SUNN O)))’s most recent successes in immersive collaboration (the group worked with Scott Walker on Soused, Ulver on Terrestrials in 2013 and 2014) and also from the broad and influential wake of their epitimous Monolith’s & Dimensions .

                                Kannon emerged both independently as a conceptual entity and with roots in the legacies of those projects, yet was fully realised years later, in 2015. The album is 36 minutes in length and consists of three pieces of a triadic whole : Kannon 1, 2 and 3.

                                The album celebrates many SUNN O))) traditions ; Kannon was recorded and mixed with SUNN O)))’s close colleague and coproducer Randall Dunn in Seattle, in Studio Litho, Aleph and Avast! ; and the LP includes performances by long term allies and collaborators Attila Csihar, Oren Ambarchi, Rex Ritter, Steve Moore and others. And at the core the composition centers around the dynamic and intense guitar and bass interplay of SUNN O)))’s founders : Stephen O’Malley & Greg Anderson.

                                It’s possibly the most figurative album SUNN O))) has created, which is unusual as they usually dwell in layers of abstraction and subjectivity. On the other hand the album is the most outright “metal” in years, drawing personal associations and memories of cherished albums like Panzerfaust and Twilight of the Gods again to the forefront of consciousness. At the third time it is very close to the cyclical character of mantra which the band has evolved into as a living creature, the enormity of intense sensate detail and manifestation of the live in concert face of SUNN O))), the organism that has flourished, metamorphosed and transcended tremendously over the past ten years.

                                The literal representation of Kannon is as an aspect of Buddha : specifically “goddess of mercy” or “Perceiving the Sounds (or Cries) of the World”. She is also sometimes commonly known as the Guanyin Bodhisattva (Chinese: ????) amongst a plurality of other forms. There is a rich lineage behind this idea tracing back through many asian belief systems, with as many names and cultural personifications of the idea .

                                SUNN O))) commissioned critical theorist Aliza Shvartz to write a text / liner notes around these ideas and topics. She also explores the relations and perceptions to their approach to these ideas via the metonym of music and SUNN O)))’s place/approach within the framework of music and metal overall.

                                SUNN O))) also commissioned Swiss designer/artist Angela LaFont Bollinger to create the cover artwork, an abstracted sculpture of vision of Kannon, and the French photographer Estelle Hanania to capture portraits of the core trio (Csihar, Anderson, O’Malley) in the impressive and obscurant Emanuel Vingeland mausoleum in Oslo.


                                Sunn O))) & Ulver

                                Terrestrials

                                  Oslo, Norway, August 10th, 2008. Following their 200th gig, playing before 2000 people at the Øya festival, SUNN O))) teamed up with Norwegian legends ULVER at their Oslo studio, Crystal Canyon. They recorded three “live in improvisation” pieces, starting that evening and ending at dawn, as Northern sunlight seeped in through the windows.

                                  “We were sitting in the console room, early in the morning, listening to the takes. Someone said, ‘ah, sunrise over Crystal Canyon,’ as if the night had been a dark one. We all laughed and Greg proposed it as a title. In that setting it sounded perfect. The boys had mentioned wanting the music to orient towards the light, like some lost pilgrim stretching before the sun. We kept that mental picture for the processing.” – Kristoffer Rygg

                                  That take became the album’s opening piece, “Let there be light,” which builds up from silence and darkness and proceeds – ceremoniously, coruscating – O’Malley and O’Sullivan creating the backdrop for Rygg’s Basso Profondo chants. The music unfolds over eight minutes before reaching a crescendo of bass and brass, introducing both Anderson and ULVER as we know them. The Sunn has risen.

                                  “Western horn” accelerates on a single and austere note of sustained bass and low end, evolving gradually into a haunted soundscape. Crying violins, clusters of Fender Rhodes, guitar pickups, and metal plate drones are gradually layered beneath Anderson’s augmented bass feedback.

                                  “Eternal return” introduces Rygg singing a lyric evoking ancient Greece, Egypt and the Biblical lands. The song is palindromic, echoing the lyric, beginning and ending with the same bass line and musical pattern, though the guitars are ultimately reversed as the song implodes upon itself.

                                  “Terrestrials” is three movements which are fluid like the flow of magma beneath the Earth’s crust, sonically uninhibited, unpredictably cosmic, haunting and stirring yet simultaneously ceremonious and beautiful.

                                  Pelican

                                  Forever Becoming

                                    After four years of silence, instrumental metal standard-bearers Pelican have come thundering back, with 'Forever Becoming' , an eight-song album destined to be considered one of the most punishingly rewarding albums of the year.

                                    Before their hiatus, the group had laid a sizable chunk of the groundwork for the instrumental metal scene that’s come into its own in the 13 years since they started playing together. After 2009 the band found itself slightly adrift, and found the day to day struggle of being full-time underground musicians colliding with new families and non-musical careers. Wisely, they didn’t make any rash decisions, and as suits a band known for making dense, meditative sounds they simply patiently figured out how to move past their obstacles.

                                    This reborn Pelican is purer, more focused, and far more assured. Recorded at Electrical Audio in Chicago with engineer Chris Common, and featuring The Swan King guitarist Dallas Thomas (replacing the amicably departed Laurent Schroeder-Lebec) Forever Becoming is an immense, speaker-rattling meditation on the infinite cycle of death and life. It takes a lot of experience and a lot of confidence to attempt a head-on ascent of the biggest, most monolithic theme in art, but Forever Becoming is proof that Pelican has plenty of both, and knows how to wield them.

                                    Earth

                                    A Bureaucratic Desire For Extra Capsular Extractions

                                      For the first time ever the debut recordings of Earth are available in one concise, beautifully documented capsule. "A Bureaucratic Desire for Extra Capsular Extractions" contains the entire 1990 Smegma Studios sessions which are the debut recordings from Earth.

                                      Previously available scattered via the "Extra Capsular Extractions" EP and "Sunn Amps and Smashed Guitar" CD. This essential collection contains every note from the infamous first Earth recording sessions.

                                      Earth was founded by Dylan Carlson circa 1989 and in this infancy stages contained several different members including: Slim Moon (Kill Rock Stars label), Joe Preston (Thrones, Melvins, sunn 0))), HIgh on Fire etc..) and even Dylans close friend Kurt Kobain. Unbeknownst to Mr. Carlson at the time was that his seemingly simplistic experimentations with heavy music would literally spawn an entire genre, style and sound borrowing from his musical theories. Of course were talking about what is commonly referred to as "Drone" or "Drone-Metal".

                                      From Sunn 0))) to Pelican to Mogwai to Jim O' Rourke the impact that Dylan's tone and music has had is immeasurable. This collection of the very first experimentations/recordings is an important insight into understanding the birth of this sound as well as a glimpse of the foreshadowing for the thunder to come. It is with honour that Southern Lord unleashes this glorious archival release.

                                      Sunn O)))

                                      Monoliths & Dimensions

                                        Sunn O))) present their 7th studio album after 10 years of existence. Work that spanned a year and a half resulted in their most intense, mature work to date. Recorded at various points throughout 2007 & 2008 by Randall Dunn and Mell Dettmer, it features an array of other players including longtime collaborators Attila Csihar and Oren Ambarchi, and other luminaries such as Julian Priester (notable for work with Sun Ra and Herbie Hancock), and slow music God-father Dylan Carlson of Earth. In addition, arrangements were handled by noted composer Eyvind Kang who has worked with John Zorn, Bill Frisell and Mike Patton amongst others. Fleshing out the usual Sunn lineup is an upright bass trio, french & English horns, a harp and flute duo, piano, brass, reed & string ensembles. Despite this, this is not 'Sunn with strings' or 'metal meets orchestra' material, this is something altogether more exciting.

                                        Om

                                        Pilgrimage

                                          Limited Repress!

                                          The legendary rhythm section of Sleep: Chris Hakius and Al Cisneros deliver a new classic album recorded by Steve Albini!!! "Pilgrimage" is Om's third album (first on Southern Lord). Four songs featuring Om's unique use of riff, cadence and chant. Lyrical themes address the processes of mind, psychic reality, astral and causal planes of being, and the nature of the soul. Motifs that were initiated on the band's previous album are continued here unabated.

                                          This version of Pilgrimage comes packaged in a Stoughton gatefold jacket.

                                          Hawnay Troof

                                          Dollar And Deed

                                            Vice Cooler from Oakland CA is the sonic insurgent behind the Sonic Youth approved Hawnay Troof. "Dollar And Deed" is his second album following on from the groundbreaking debut "Get Up Resolution: Love".

                                            Sunn O)))

                                            Black One

                                              ULTRA-DELUXE 180 GRAM DOUBLE VINYL REISSUE OF THE NOW CLASSIC SUNN 0))) ALBUM: “BLACK ONE”

                                              Thick Stoughton style gatefold jacket

                                              This is the sixth and darkest sunn 0))) album yet featuring very special guests Oren Ambarchi, Wrest (Leviathan/Lurker of Chalice/ Twilight) Malefic (Xasthur, Twilight) and John Weise (Bastard Noise).
                                              Tonal magma explosions created under the influence of utter blackest atmospheres, sunn 0))) endlessly seeks to push boundaries and demolish pre-conceived ideas of their eminence. Sinister vocal performances courtesy of Wrest (known for his solo work under the names Leviathan and Lurker of Chalice) and Malefic (known for his solo work under the name Xasthur) literally call from beyond the grave.
                                              Unorthodox and experimental recording methods were used to obtain the petrifying eerie tone of the voices on this album. For the epic side 4 piece, “Bathory Erzebet”, sunn 0))) procured a casket then loaded it into a Cadillac Hearse, and locked Malefic inside with only a microphone and a severe sense of claustrophobia.
                                              The result is truly suffocating and disturbing! Mammoth giants crushing valleys of the drowned. This album is as bleak, crushing, and devoid of light as only they possibly could.


                                              Goatsnake

                                              1 + Dogdays

                                                Debut album "1" was originally released in Europe on the Rise Above label and the infamous Man's Ruin in the US. It quickly established the band as a force to be reckoned with. Ultra heavy doom riffage collided with mammoth rock anthems. Shortly after, "The Dog Days EP" was released on guitarist Greg Anderson's Southern Lord label. This compilation includes all the tracks from both releases, including their cover of Black Sabbath's "Who Are You" which was previously only on the vinyl release of "Dog Days". It also includes two tracks previously available only on limited vinyl 7" releases.

                                                Sunn O)))

                                                White1

                                                  Fourth album from Sunn 0))), featuring a new expanded line-up with Julian Cope, Joe Preston (Thrones, ex-Earth, ex-Melvins) and Runhild Gammels (Thorr's Hammer vocalist). Sunn 0))) converged in August 2002 in Magnetic Park studios (curated by Rex Ritter of Fontanelle / ex-Jessamine) Portland, Oregon. The results of this diverse yet visionary collaboration are certainly Sunn 0)))'s most eclectic, pro/regressive birthing. Julian Cope guests on the incredible "My Wall". For fans of Earth, Jessamine, 70s Miles Davis, Warp Records and drugs!


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