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★★★★☆
(13 Reviews)

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  • It was inevitable really. The Japanese masters of Orange Amp-powered drone-sludge and the robed priests of low end doom. How could it not happen? In fact, if you remember the 2005 April Fool’s AQ list, we actually jokingly predicted this epochal event! Although in our version it also included Earth, each band playing one note of the world’s heaviest E chord.

    The real question was never IF it would happen, it was when. And how. Especially how. C’mon, how on earth can you fit that many amps in a recording studio. They must have used an airplane hanger, either that or they filled a high school gymnasium with Sunn and Orange stacks and microphones, and actually played in an entirely different room.
    Regardless, it happened, and it sounds as good as you might imagine. Both bands completely compliment each other. SUNNO))), whose slow motion riffing borders on pure ambience, is given a serious propulsive shove, with more structured riffing and the addition of DRUMS!!! Boris get dragged back into the gloriously glacial tarpit of their older records, discarding their current garage rock rrrooooaaar for that classic slow motion doom trudge. However you look at it, it’s basically the best record either band has put out. It’s like an EVEN heavier SUNNO))), with bigger riffs and pulverizing doom rock drums, and of course wailing psychedelic leads. For Boris, they’ve taken their blown out grooves and dipped them in tar, added a million more pounds of guitar firepower and made the best Boris record since Flood.

    But it’s not all pulverizing doom riffage. There’s plenty of dark droning ambience too. Huge stretches of swirling guitar rumble, dreamy swaths of wispy steel string shimmer. Murky and haunting, processed vocals and minor key melodies swimming in a black sea of echoey ambient guitars and sizzling cymbal shimmer. The strangest track is probably “The Sinking Belle (Blue Sheep)”, sort of the Boris / SUNNO))) version of a torch song, with FX smeared piano, strange buried rhythms, and hushed vocals, like a doom metal Mazzy Star.

    The closer “Bloodswamp” is 14 minutes of churning downtuned guitars and shimmering Sunroof! like ambience. No riffs really, or if they are there, they’re stretched into thick streaks of black fuzz. A furiously epic coda to a f-cking amazing record.

    The first 5000 copies come with a bonus disc titled SatanOscillateMyMetallicSonatas (a nod to Soundgarden there?) that features a single 28 minute track called “Her Lips Were Wet With Venom” guest starring Dylan Carlson from Earth! Before we go any further… are you thinking what we’re thinking… April Fools? SUNNO))) and Boris And Earth!!! And I bet you at least some of the bonus track is in E!! Boy, did we call it. And actually Atsuo from Boris confided in a friend of AQ that indeed, part of the reason they got Dylan to guest was because of that April Fool’s review! How cool is that?!?

    Anyway, the bonus track is a monstrous wall of churning guitars, with occasional howled almost death metal vocals buried way down in the mix, and languorous Earth Hex-like twang guitar draped lazily above a churning blackhole ambience. So good.
    Besides Dylan Carlson of Earth, there are lots of other guest performers including Jesse Sykes, Joe Preston from Thrones (also ex-Melvins, ex-Earth), Kim Thayil from Soundgarden (aha) and Rex Ritter from Jessamine.

    Packaged beautifully in a mini cd style gatefold, with AMAZING cover art, black on black with weird muted color and text printed in glossy varnish and metallic gold, both bands be-robed and standing in a cornfield, a full color booklet attached to the inside, a metallic sticker on the front, each copy individually numbered.

    Posted on December 22, 2009