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Sunn 0))) have often been criticized for being a mere Earth copycat band. In their more recent releases they have proven that they have their own unique and interesting ideas to add to the template laid down by their forerunners. Utilizing horns, strings and choral singing, along with the more familiar down-tuned, heavily distorted guitars and raspy, atonal vocals, Sunn 0)) have produced one impressive album. Monoliths and Dimensions marks the apex of the evolution of these unorthodox cavemen.
As is par for the course for these fellows, the album has just a few, very long tracks. The four songs here can be categorized in two different flavors: the thick and heavy, and the soft and ethereal.
Aghartha and Alice, the first and last tracks, are on the softer side. I prefer the harder songs on the album, but listening to these two would be a great way to rest and relax. At times, they have a formless quality that can be quite magical and soothing.
Big Church and Hunting & Gathering are much more robust. The low, distorted guitars are much more prevalent in these songs. I find the latter of the two to be the best of the album, if not their greatest song period. It features some mesmerizing and hypnotic counter-play without sounding too busy. This is, after all, minimalist music! Guitars with both distorted and clean tones mesh with horns seamlessly on this track.
Throughout this album, traditional instruments and heavy guitars compliment one another. This is a nice change from most heavy music, which goes with the cliché of juxtaposition. Sunn 0))) makes these instruments sound as if they were meant to naturally go together, like peanut butter and chocolate. This is a majestic work of art.