Review Summary: Demo collection that plants the seeds of the new sound that would become Sunn O)))'s signature sound
30 ton glacial tones slowly rip and carve paths into existence. Rhythmically pulsing just enough to let you know that this is music and not the sound of some kind of otherworldly machinery. Sunn O)))’s Grimrobe Demos delivers Earth (the band not the planet) worship in the most slowly churning, coldly calculated way that could ever be perceived by the human mind. Compared to the band’s later works The Grimrobe Demos seems far too simple in the scope of its concept and sound but this three track opus lays down the far too seemingly simple foundations of the sound that would later thrust Sunn O))) into spotlights far beyond those of the metal world.
Extremely distorted guitar riffs being played at the speed of a snail with no percussion to speak of, hardly seems like a thing worthy of praise but the fact of the matter is that the Grimrobe Demos are the beginning of the birth of an exceptionally beautiful brain child and children are never born looking like much of anything at all till you begin to look and examine closely. This demo certainly doesn’t begin with a bang nor does it ever end with one, however behind the rumblings of the lead guitar one can hear the quiet oscillations of keyboards that sound as if cold astral winds are blowing through the studio. By the time the second track has ended the keyboards take their rightful position by the guitar and the listener is shown a glimpse of the full sound that Sunn O))) would later offer. Though this brainchild cannot walk on its own yet, it most certainly is not crawling anymore either.
More than ten years after its initial release this pioneering, megalithic piece of music still holds the power to transcend the listener into new heights while never leaving the comfort of the simple basis of an excruciatingly slow riff echoing, seemingly throughout eternity.