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4.19 | 16 ratings | 2 reviews
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Album · 2009

Filed under Drone Metal
By SUNN O)))


1. Aghartha (17:34)
2. Big Church (megszentségteleníthetetlenségeskedéseitekért) (9:42)
3. Hunting & Gathering (Cydonia) (10:02)
4. Alice (16:20)

Total Time 53:39


- Greg Anderson / Electric Guitar, Electric Bass
- Stephen O'Malley / Electric Guitar

- Jessika Kenney / Vocals (Track 2)
- Eric Walton / Piano (Track 1)
- Julian Priester / Conch Shell, Trombone (Track 1, 4)
- Mell Dettmer / Hydrophone, Bells (Track 1, 2)
- Angela Kiemayer / Vocals (Track 2)
- Verena Bodem / Vocals (Track 2)
- Keith Lowe / Double Bass (Tracks 1, 4)
- Tim Smollens / Double Bass (Tracks 1, 4)
- Jutta Sierlinger / Vocals (Track 2)
- Stuart Dempster / Dung Chen, Conch Shell, Trombone (Track 1, 4)
- Taina Karr / Oboe, English Horn (Tracks 1, 4)
- Katharina Einsiedl / Vocals (Track 2)
- Josiah Boothby / French Horn (Tracks 1, 4)
- Loma Döring / Vocals (Track 2)
- Stephanie Pfeffer / Vocals (Track 2)
- Eyvind Kang / Viola (Tracks 1, 2, 4)
- Timb Harris / Violin (Tracks 1, 4)
- Oren Ambarchi / Electric Guitar, Effects, Gong (Tracks 1, 2, 3. 4)
- Hans Teuber / Clarinet, Flute (Track 1, 4)
- Rex Ritter / Synthetizers (Tracks 2, 3)
- Steve Moore / Dung Chen, Conch Shell, Organ, Trombone, Synthesizers (Tracks 1, 2, 3, 4)
- Cuong Vu / Trumpet (Track 2)
- Brad Mown / Concert Bass Drum, Percussion, Vocals (Track 3)
- Tony Moore / Trumpet (Track 3)
- Moriah Neils / Double Bass (Track 4)
- Melissa Walsh / Harp (Track 4)
- Attila Csihár / Vocals (Tracks 1, 2, 3)
- William Herzog / Electric Tamboura, Vocals (Track 3)
- Joe Preston / Vocals (Track 3)
- Daniel Menche / Vocals (Track 3)
- Dylan Carlson / Electric Guitar (Track 2)

About this release

May 5th, 2009
Southern Lord Recordings

Thanks to Prog Geo, Phonebook Eater, Lynx33 for the updates


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Specialists/collaborators reviews

With monologues from Attila featured on three of its four tracks, one might expect Monoliths & Dimensions to follow up the approach of Black One (Black Two, in other words). It isn't quite that, and nor is it quite a followup to Oracle, an EP released in the midst of the recording sessions for this. Compared to both it's more orchestrated, more ephemeral, a more serious chase after the "monastic plainsong meets drone metal" concept than they've ever presented before, with excursions into dark ambient and even avant-garde jazz - listen, for instance, to the plaintive brass at the end of Alice, the album-closing tribute to the late Alice Coltrane, perhaps symbolising John welcoming her to eternal rest.
Phonebook Eater
Sunn O))), pronounced Sun, is one of the most famous American drone metal bands out there, their popularity increased a lot more when their seventh studio album came out in 2009, "Monoliths & Dimensions", which some consider it to be their masterpiece. Personally, I can't hide my love for this album, that hypnotized, confused, and somewhat moved me interiorly.

"Monoliths & Dimensions" is a step forward in experimentation and ambition compared to their earlier stuff, such as the two White's and Black One. Sure, the album is still Sunn O))) style: we still have these incredibly heavy,loud,distorted,low notes that could easily blow up your speakers if put up to a high volume. But M&D has a much more orchestral and symphonic feel, thanks also to the use in some parts (in the track "Alice") of orchestral instruments,played by an infinite amount of musicians, from the harp to the flutes, from brass to violins and strings. There is also moments where there's a choir that enriches the music ("Big Church") and that comes in pretty frequently to give to the track an eerier and more mysterious feeling to it. It's easy to understand then why this can be considered their most adventurous and original album, but arguably the best.

"Monoliths & Dimensions" is four,long, extended tracks; "Agartha", the opener, is a seventeen minute piece that is possibly their least experimental. For about six minutes there's the usual drone metal, until a deep guttural voice starts speaking, and goes on until the end of the song. Every now and then in the songs a few hits of surreal and mystery come along, like the solemn sounding voices. A great track, no doubt. "Big Church" is probably the strangest song of the album. Like I mentioned before, it's full of choir female voices that are added to the drony guitars and bass. What I thought was interesting is that in a few times along the song the music stops, and a sound of a church bell is heard, followed by a few seconds of tense silence, and then again the agonic music continues."Huntering & Gathering" is another great song, the only one where there's actually a little bit of melody, and for ten minutes it goes on, with some occasional hit and runs by synths and keys. "Alice" is for sure the most ambitious song off the album; sixteen minutes, the first half has it's nucleus in a guitar chord that keeps repeating. The second half of the song is magical; the orchestra comes in and dominates the music completely, while before it kind of stayed in the background. Probably "Alice" is the most representative song for this album, compared to the other ones that still had some lnfluences from their previous albums. What a great ending track.

In conclusion, I thought I wasn;t going to like it that much, but I honestly enjoyed the hell out of it, and I hope it will do the same to you listeners.

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