Tuesday, May 10, 2016

[Throwback Reviews] SUNN O))) & ULVER - Terrestrials

Note from the editor: this review was first published at my main blog and since I moved here I've decided to edit and repost those archived reviews once in a while just to get the database complete and give a second life to those earlier writings.

Sunn O))) & Ulver - Terrestrials (2014, Southern Lord Records)

In the vein of Godspeed You! Black Emperor!, Sunn O))) has always been a reference in Drone music exploring patterns, textures, sonorities, and the musical boundaries of sound and noise. On the other side, Ulver with an early Black Metal trilogy and a triptych of experimentation, in the extremities of not only Metal but also Rock, have come to a second collaboration with Sunn O))).

Terrestrials is the mixture of contemplations from two mature underground pillars of explorers in their science. With their music, they invoke feelings, emotions of lyrical grandeur and textural epiphany. Just like the newbie who is getting into H.P. Lovecraft’s literature and discovers Cthulu and all its myths. It cleans the perception of the listener from the exterior and the conventions of what some pedestrians call music.
Sure, one must enter into Terrestrials with a musical open minded ear, if you please, but with a desire to discover and be slowly taken into a deep abyss of possibilities that opens like a small tunnel into the center of a discovery. The music of Sunn O))) is powerful and complex for the mind especially if you have not been exposed to experimental music. 

As a music lover I feel blessed to still be amazed after listening to such a complex yet simple project that transcends genre and conventions. It is the sheer or the pure feeling of creation and genuine originality that transcends both artists' vision. 
Despite not being that much initiated to noise and to Drone, I find in Terrestrials something palpable and universal. It does injects into any kind of time and doesn’t follow a line or even a trend. This makes it a somewhat undated piece of musical mastery. Dosage is important and so much and so little is on that record that one must feel like everything is calculated like a pastry recipe. It plays like a subtle soundtrack of grandeur and decay.

The three songs are more or less moments of Sunn O))) and Ulver. The last song, ''Eternal Return'' is obviously the ong that the Kristopher Rygg (Ulver) and co. have injected their personal touch into it. In fact, Terrestrials is probably an adequate entry for people that wants to discover Sunn O))) despite the fact that they can't claim total fatherhood, it has some accessible elements that may help ''getting'' their music. However, fans of the early Ulver won't be satiated with it.

It left me impressed waiting for a false note but instead it is a delight like a great novel spelling every great word and discovering how far we can get from pedestrian music and enjoy moments of near silence and total abandon to human creation.


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