Sunn O))) and Boris
Altar


5.0
classic

Review

by PropaneNightmares USER (1 Reviews)
February 16th, 2012 | 17 replies


Release Date: 2006 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Altar is a great collaboration album that gives you what you wanted and throws in a few enjoyable surprises.

When I was first getting into drone metal, I quickly gained an understanding of what it is, sounds like, popular bands, etc. Crushing, slow, and incredibly heavy. Of course, I started with Sunn O))) as my first adventure into the genre, and I ended up becoming very interested in it, very quickly. I listened to Boris’s “Pink” soon after, and loved it, and that’s when I discovered the collaboration album between the two artists.

Altar is an album with a number of genre influences, there’s plenty of drone metal similar to the sound from Sunn O))), such as the first song on the album, or at least the first disc of it, the incredibly heavy song “Her Lips Were Wet With Venom”, which clocks in at an impressive 28 minutes. Plenty of good drone in the background, with additional interesting and sludgy (which is the best way I can describe it as) guitar work from Boris.

Etna and Blood Swamp are the other two more drone metal influence tracks on the album, featuring the members of Sunn O))) playing their signature drone sound with their guitars.

But, in addition to the great drone metal, there’s some beautiful ambient tracks, most of which are Japanese release bonus tracks, but you can find them on YouTube. The Sinking Belle tracks (Blue, Black, and White Sheep) respectfully, ditch the heavy drone metal style for a slow ambience style. Eyvind Kang, the violin player on these tracks adds such emotion and beauty to these songs. The Sinking Belle (Blue Sheep) is the standout of these 3 tracks though, because of the inclusion of piano and vocals, performed by Stephen O’Malley and Jesse Sykes.

In addition to the vocals on the Sinking Belle tracks, there are voice encoder lyrics on the track “Akuma no Kuma.” It’s a slow and interesting track, and is probably the most unique track on the album, because of all the different instruments used, such as synthesizers, the slow drumming, and of course the vocoder. There’s even some trombone playing near the 3:35 mark.

Fried Eagle Mind is one of the more atmospheric tracks, and a good way to describe it would be “spacy.” The guitar work is interesting and it has very faint and almost whispered lyrics.

I listened to this album expecting only slow and heavy drone metal, but I was pleasantly surprised by the inclusion of the more ambient and atmospheric songs, which somehow fit in perfectly for me.

Recommended tracks:
The Sinking Belle (All 3 parts are wonderful)
Etna
Akuma no Kuma

Members:
Sunn O))): Stephen O’Malley (Electric Guitar, Synthesizer, and Piano) and Greg Anderson. (Electric/Bass Guitar, Synthesizer)
Boris: Atsuo (Drums, Percussion), Wata (Lead Guitar and Vocals) and Takeshi. (Electric/Bass Guitar)


user ratings (237)
3.9
excellent
other reviews of this album
ValiumMan (4.5)
This unusually even collaboration serves as a good starting point for people who want to either disc...


Comments:Add a Comment 
PropaneNightmares
February 16th 2012


115 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Hopefully this isn't too bad for my first review.

Divine
February 16th 2012


3663 Comments


Excellent first review bro

pos'd

AngelofDeath
Emeritus
February 16th 2012


16276 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Best album ever.

Funeralopolis
February 16th 2012


14388 Comments


so much shirtless guy up in this review

Digging: FKA Twigs - Magdalene

tarkus
February 16th 2012


5568 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

pos

Funeralopolis
February 16th 2012


14388 Comments


I bet these two bands would complement each other well

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
February 16th 2012


8494 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Fantastic album.



The best elements of both bands put together ftw.

Shuyin
February 16th 2012


13526 Comments


boris is a good name

Digging: Isis - Panopticon

Nikkolae
February 16th 2012


5460 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

so much shirtless guy up in this review




im here to balance stuff out, boris is just extraordinary here

Digging: The Devil Wears Prada - The Act

BallsToTheWall
February 16th 2012


49823 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Boss.

Digging: Great Master - Skull and Bones

Divine
February 16th 2012


3663 Comments


"im here to balance stuff out"

why don't you jump a little bit

Nikkolae
February 16th 2012


5460 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

dont mind if i do

Reaganiswhoopass420
February 17th 2012


3 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

really reminiscent of Nickelback's first album

jwyles4
February 17th 2012


311 Comments


This review sucks, you suck.

PropaneNightmares
February 17th 2012


115 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

^^^ truth

BlazeWilson
February 22nd 2012


68 Comments


Pretty shweet review, pos'd

iamamanfromspace
February 9th 2015


1030 Comments


The last two long, full-on drone tracks on here are sooo good, the collab would already be satisfactory (and longer than a lot of albums out there) if it were just those two tracks



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