Review Summary: Maximum volume yields minimal results.
It’s rather difficult to really describe what makes something like Sunn O)))’s music so appealing; a Seattle, Washington-based drone metal duo whose material largely consists of sluggish, feedback-driven riffery and dragged-out, distorted guitar tunage with no semblance of melody nor rhythm. Simply putting it, Sunn O))) is a typical drone metal band who tends to put out some of the most inconsistent music out there. This here is said band’s seventh full-length effort, Kannon
. Made up of three tracks, all simply titled after the East Asian deity of the same name, Kannon
is far from merciful like the deity was said to be.
The three tracks, spread over a meager 32-minute span, all suffer from the same nagging problem that plagues the Sunn O))) catalogue and even the drone metal genre – the compositions lack any interesting moments, to a point where it gets to be bothersome to even listen to. That's not to say that the latest offering from Sunn O))) is a complete waste of time, but it shows its flaws thoroughly. Sure enough, there’s a few moments of promise here and there, but the album plays out like three separate movements that have little variation. But even then, Kannon
manages to go for the gold and have a predictable formula that practically plays out like baby’s first drone metal recording: whining/brooding guitar drone with or without feedback to begin the track/repeat until the unintelligible vocal comes into the mix/repeat riff for as long as possible/track fades out or abruptly cuts out. However, with the bad, there is some (read: hardly any) good as well. Kannon
as a whole can be seen as one big composition, the final movement of the three tracks actually shows some variation by not using the same rehashed riffs for ten minutes and having vocals that don’t sound similar to a middle-aged chain-smoker. Okay, so I lied about that last bit. But I digress.
failings all lie in its refusal to be interesting, or the stripped-back sound that differs from such efforts as 2009’s Monoliths and Dimensions
or last year’s collaboration with cult pop artist Scott Walker, Soused
. Sunn O))) do have a good album in them, as shown from those two albums previously mentioned, but suffer from inconsistency issues. Only if the boys in Sunn O))) could look out from under those massive, black hoods draped over their faces and realize that maybe, just maybe, see what a little change could do. That couldn't hurt, right?