Sunn O))) White1

For their fourth release, Sunn O))) are the first experimental drone band to take the genre to another level, completely breaking the mould. The ultra-heavy drone outfit (consisting of Stephen O'Malley and Greg Anderson) features guitars that cut concrete in slow motion, while plugged simultaneously into the bowels of the earth and the heavens above. Instead of doing what they do best, they do it better, adding a more internalised approach by adding the odd human voice into the mix, highlighted by a Edgar Allan Poe-esque menacing reading by Julian Cope, giving even the most sceptical and conventional listener safe passage into their cosmic trippy melodic doom world. From thereon, the duo (along with contributions from former Melvins member Joe Preston) churn up the rhythms with a twisted Americana medieval à la Texas Chainsaw Massacre soundtrack touch. Their craft is so distant from normality that we almost just hear the subsonic echo of their assault — the effect, not the cause, is what is most important when experiencing art and Sunn have mastered it. And also important to note here — while it is easy to just put a microphone in front of a guitar amp, with this type of music things go stale and fatiguing. This is where engineer Rex Ritter (of Fontanelle fame) comes in and makes the concept of signals being out of phase a wonderful mind-fuck of a listening experience. (Southern Lord)