All-encompassing darkness surrounds you, through which nothing can be seen. You feel nothing below you, and nothing in any direction. The silence is inescapable. You try to open your mouth and shout, but there is nothing to be heard. You aren’t sure if you even have a mouth. Something below you begins to rumble, and the air starts to vibrate. A distant cry can be heard, more faint than the smallest whisper. It is joined by another, and another . . .
Some types of music require a far different approach than listening just for the sake of enjoyment. This record isn’t just a collection of songs, but an experience crafted for transcendental purposes, and must be looked at as such in order to fully comprehend the artists’ intention. Kannon is the newest full-length from Sunn O))), a band from Seattle that have a knack for invoking the yawning infinite with guitar tone wizardry.
The group’s core members, Stephen O’Malley and Greg Anderson, construct towering soundscapes of ambience that slow time to a crawl. The glacially paced, guitar-focused instrumentation is complimented by the Gregorian-style vocals of Hungarian-born Attila Csihar, which lie somewhere amidst the traditional roars of metal and the far-reaching modal music of India. It is overwhelmingly intense and serene at the same time.
Kannon is presented as a representation of an aspect of Buddha: the “goddess of mercy.” It is shaped to embody the “sounds (or cries) of the world,” and acts as a vehicle through which expressions may flow, rather than an expression itself. There is a niche of yoga (Black YO)))ga) dedicated to absorbing and utilizing the full extent of this genre, and now you’re intrigued. If you’re seeking meditative doom metal, this album is for you.
– stasi (@stasisphere)