American "drone metal" act SUNN O))) will release its seventh studio album, "Monoliths & Dimensions", in late May via Southern Lord Recordings. The CD showcases the core guitar duo — Stephen O'Malley and Greg Anderson — incorporating influences from a plethora of guest musicians, bringing the SUNN O))) sound to epic new levels. The band also collaborated with composer Eyvind Kang (notable for his work with John Zorn, Marc Ribot, Bill Frisell, etc.) on various acoustic ensembles, in addition to the Helios-fueled electric guitars and basses. Key players on the album include Australian guitar genius Oren Ambarchi, enigmatic Hungarian vocalist Attila Csihar (MAYHEM, TORMENTOR) and slow music godfather Dylan Carlson (EARTH), as well as Julian Priester (worked with SUN RA in the '50s, John Coltrane's African Brass band, and Herbie Hancock's Sextant band) and new-music horn player Stuart Dempster. There's also an upright bass trio, French and English horns, harp and flute duo, piano, brass, reed and strings ensembles, and a Viennese woman's choir led by Persian vocal savant Jessika Kenney.
The album is not "SUNN O))) with strings" or "metal meets orchestra" material. The band took an approach concentrating on more of allusion toward the timbre of feedback and the instruments involved, so the piece is really illusory, beautiful and not entirely linear, stating that the end product is "the most musical piece we've done, and also the heaviest, powerful and most abstract set of chords we've laid to tape."
The CD was recorded and mixed by Randall Dunn and Mell Dettmer at various points over the last two years, and is practice in density, gravity and momentum.
"Monoliths & Dimensions" track listing:
01. Aghartha (17:34)
02. Big Church [megszentségteleníthetetlenségeskedéseitekért] (09:43)
03. Hunting & Gathering (Cydonia) (10:02)
04. Alice (16:21)
SUNN O))) will make a special, one-off appearance at London's Corsica Studios on February 22, with the core duo Stephen O'Malley and Greg Anderson performing their 1998 debut "The Grimmrobe Demos".