Thursday, November 16, 2006
Sunn 0))) & Boris - Altar
Sunn 0))) and Boris are two metal bands that became really hip for indie kids to namedrop starting about one year ago. Boris is a band of Japanese people who play really fast Mötorhead type things, as well as slow, droney, Melvinsy shit. Sunn 0))) is two guys who specialize in wearing robes and playing monster metal riffs as slow and as loud as humanly possible while some black metal vocalist from Leviathan or Xasthur or some other awesome SF band screams in a most sinister manner.
I can sort of see why the Pitchfork readers of the world dig Boris so much. Their work is actually really varied, come to think of it. They have thrashy things, doomy things, shoegazy things, Hendrix-y things. And they're Japanese, and kids love those goddamned Japanese bukkake blogs! So Boris keeps it interesting for someone who isn't necessarily into metal. But Sunn 0)))? I just fail to see the crossover appeal there! The vocals are pure black metal, the songs are all 10 years long and go by at like 1 beat per minute, and unless you're a huge fan of black or doom metal (the real shit, not that sissy Pelican crap), or if you're a hardcore noise fan, I just don't really see how you could find any real enjoyment in this stuff (especially Black One, their "breakthrough album," which is the most evil-sounding one yet!)
Nevertheless, both of these bands are awesome. When I heard that they were releasing a collaboration album, I almost shit my pants and jizzed in them and farted all at once! That was one Bar Mitzvah that I'll never forget! This album has no speedy Mötorhead-ish Boris songs like "Ibitsu," and not a lot of the "awesome metal riff played really slowly" Sunn 0))) doodads that we have come to know and love. No, this is actually quite an eclectic little album with surprises galore. These folks are having a blast in the studio, collaborating wand fucking and sucking and such. There are also lots of guests on here. Jesse Sykes sings a song, Joe Preston contributes awesome vocoder vocals, Butch Walker co-wrote and produced three of the dronier numbers, and Kim Thayil plays some really loud rock 'n' roll guitar. Let's just talk about the songs.
The first song is a distorted mega guitar drone symphony. It starts out sounding like Sunn 0))) or a dronier Boris tune, but then the drums come in, and it eventually ends up sounding like slow-as-balls MELVINSY AWESOMENESS, with the Japanese guitarist girl playing her awesome screaming guitar leads (clitoris) on top of everything.
The next song is the shortest thing here, and it's a nice little piece, and it's sonically awesome and has a bowed bass!
Then the next song has VOCALS! WOMAN COUNTRY SINGER VOCALS! And CLEAN GUITARS! And PIANO! WHAT THE FUCK? This song is awesome. Lots of delay pedal and reverb.
The next song has a vocoder! And HORNS that sound like synths/SYNTHS that sound like horns! This song sounds like ELP.
The song after it is really droney and the Japanese chick sings it in a creepy little girl "Protect Me You" sort of way.
The final song is 14 minutes of sub-woofer raping feedback greatness.
Do you like big droney feedbacking guitars and all that shit? Then you'll like this album! Admittedly, the dronier numbers aren't nearly as mind-meltingly heavy as Black One, but they're awesome nonetheless.
Rating: This album rules.
Song: "Fried Eagle Mind"... this is the one with the Japanese bukkake vocals. It gets really distorted at the end, so watch out!