13 February 2014

Sunn 0))) & Ulver - Terrestrials


This release has long been rumbling and threatening to be released, not it is finally amongst us.  I can honestly say I have not been as excited for a noise/drone record in many years as I am for this one.  Since 2008 till 2012, Swedish experimental musician’s Ulver and American Drone Gods Sunn 0))) have been getting together were they have opportunity and been recording.  It had long been rumoured that this was happening, but there was nothing official.  Then in December 2013 on the Southern Lord website, a track was made available for streaming and it was announced that in February 2014 'Terrestrials' would finally be released to the masses.

This is only three tracks long so it might not be the biggest review, but it is over thirty five minutes long.  The album is largely instrumental, starting with "Let There Be Light" and from the beginning it is obvious that this is playing to the more subtle end of the soundscape which these bands live in.  Subtle drone, a haunting trumpet holds centre stage, off kilter keys play in the background and the mood is ominous.  The beauty is painful and tortured and hypnotic. It just keeps building into a sinister tower of broken bones and minds; it is truly the perfect union between these giants of their genres.  "Western Horn" is the shortest of the tracks on offer here at nine minutes plus, starting with a wall of sound and cello drone it feels like the beginning of one of those Norwegian crime dramas.  It challenges the listener with its discomforting notes and pace, it is not an easy track but it is hauntingly glorious.  Ending this album all too soon is "Eternal Return"; this was the track which was first released on the Southern Lord website.  No matter what I write here, it will not do this track justice.  Epic is not big enough a word for the emotions and sheer power behind this track.  It is the longest song on this album, it is the only track with some vocals and it is also the most painful, already in February I have a contender for song of the year. I can honestly say it is a stunning track to end the album on.

The wait has truly been worth it, the music is outstanding which is not a surprise considering who was involved.  If I have one problem with it, it is this - how come it took four years to make only three tracks. This is just a minor thing as I wanted more by the time I got to the end of the album.  When Helen (Mrs ATTIWLTMOWOS & one of the bloggers on here) heard the album she said it was one of the most beautiful things she had ever heard.  I agree with her that it is a stunningly beautiful album and when we arrive at the end of the year I would not be surprised if it was the album of the year.  It is that good and truly groundbreaking.

10 out of ten - This is proof that there is a God

You can purchase the album from Amazon here

You can purchase it directly from the Southern Lord record label here

There is no Sunn 0))) website (but you can find out their activities on Southern Lord) - however here is a link to their Bandcamp page

Likewise, Ulver do not have a main website, but here is a link to their page on Jester records

You can listen to the album on Spotify here

Or if you are a Deezer user, here is a link for you

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