Sunn O))) & Boris 

Altar (Southern Lord)

Just in case you don't keep up with The New York Times' metal coverage, let's recap: Sunn O))) is a guitar duo that performs in hooded robes and specializes in doom-laden dronescapes inspired by Earth's agonized, tonal trawl. The two operate the Southern Lord label, to which chameleonic Japanese metallers Boris are signed. However, the only track on Altar on which Boris and Sunn O))) attempt to synthesize their individual aesthetics is opener "Etna," with the former's psych-metal riffs sprouting from and hovering above the latter's dirgelike solemnity. After that, all bets are off. "Fried Eagle Mind" comes off like Sonic Youth under the influence of some primo bud, and "The Sinking Belle" is stage-whispered by Jesse Sykes, pianos and pedal steel spiraling and splintering away behind her. Earth's Dylan Carlson, Soundgarden's Kim Thayil and many others appear on this genre-blind revelation, begging a question: Wouldn't it make more sense to give this project its own name and make it an ongoing concern?

More by Ray Cummings

Best Things to Do In St. Louis


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

© 2018 Riverfront Times

Website powered by Foundation