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Rampton: Excellent Structured Drone - 90%

Thuringwethil, January 30th, 2009

Of all of the Sunn 0))) projects, this is perhaps my favorite.

The primary distinction between this album and other 0))) projects is the heavy emphasis on drumming. Justin Greaves' drum work is excellent, combining unstructured soloing (reminiscent of Orthodox (Esp), or the other way around) and slow, heavy pounding (reminiscent of Burning Witch, via Jamie Sykes). The drums are recorded exceptionally well, providing depth and punch that punctuates the typical O))) drones.

The vocal work, provided by Lee Dorian of Cathedral and Napalm Death, is particularly well done. The persistent rhythmic delivery and intense emotional content blends perfectly into the overall atmosphere provided by the other three members.

The drones are as good as ever, providing a crushing foundation for the excellent drum work and vocals. It is relatively simplistic at times, but this is used to great effect, combining with the drumming and the vocal work, as well as the occasional use of sweeping synths and noise, to explode your mind into realms it could not otherwise reach. The last track, "The Smiler," uses the same riff as heard on the track "Mocking Solemnity" on the Sunn O))) album "Flight of the Behemoth," and the unique atmosphere of this project provides a good interpretation of that riff.

Overall, this is some of the heaviest and hardest-hitting O))) work that I've heard thus far. To my mind, it seems more like a continuation of the precedent set by Burning Witch, with the excellent use of the drums. I would love to hear more O))) projects based this strongly around the drums; the strong punctuation and driving force they provide add a very forceful and confident characteristic to drone. If you like this album, I would suggest you listen to Orthodox (Esp) and Burning Witch for more drone and doom along these lines.