Two of underground music’s most eclectic forces band together for this album as drone pioneers Sunn O))) and Japanese acid victims Boris unite in a fusion of dissonant creativity.
“Altar” is rife with swelling resonance, shimmering cymbal rolls and sustaining, buzzing tones, as evidenced by the record’s opener, ”Etna.” When these five artisans of doom lay down a twenty foot thick slab of apocalyptic sludge, the result is brilliantly foreboding and patently re-definitive of the term heavy. This sort of eardrum-rattling, low-frequency hum is of the sort that makes the bowels of human beings prolapsed and causes foundations conceived by even the finest of masonry to crumble to dust.
“Akuma No Kuma” will wholly envelop you with it’s electrically-charged, bottom-feeding aural nuances, while the mysterious beauty of “The Sinking Belle (Blue Sheep)” exudes bleak brilliance as the smooth, ethereal flair imparted by the members of Boris allows a poignant balancing factor to the depth-dwelling lurch of Sunn O))). With each group of artists being forerunners in the expansion of the landscape of musical possibilities, the amalgamation of their talents on “Altar” should be considered as a furtherance of their expansion of musical horizons.
An awe-inspiring combination of ambient light and shade, “Altar” is another adeptly written chapter in the history-making annals of each of these most important artists. A brilliant mind-alteration that transcends classification, this collaboration should not be seen as any sort of one-off project, but as a radiant highlight in the career of both acts. Drone fans and lovers of experimental music alike are duty-bound to attain this ritual transcendence of perception.