Top critical review
22 people found this helpful
on 1 June 2009
This album has nothing to do with why I've loved sunn o))) since their first album. Gone are the powerful minimalist aesthetics: both musically and visually. Gone is the power and atmosphere of the music found on Flight Of The Behemoth, Black One, Bass Aliens.
The music on M&D is pretentious to say the least. It sounds like a band TRYING really hard to be `challenging'.
Other reviews note Iancu Dumitrescu, Arvo Part and Gerard Grisey as influences and I know O'Malley has listened to Dumitrescu. However, this album does not begin to approximate the aforementioned. For example, the vocals on "Big Church :megszentségteleníthetetlenségeskedéseitekért" sound more like a 60's sci-fi B movie soundtrack than Part. Yea... real spooky... ooowwwooo.
The standard verse chorus/ verse chorus conventions on "Hunting & Gathering (Cydonia)" sound too obvious now that the power of the drones have given way to a more transparent sound.
The final track is obviously influenced by Miles Davis' "In A Silent Way" and it makes a nice listen. But, sunn o))) assert that the orchestration is an exercise in orchestral feedback and is not `sunn o))) with strings': rather and incorporation of different instrumentation into their frequency music. However, the album really does sound like sunn o))) with stings - the propaganda dissolves once you've heard it.
The visuals on the LP are a little silly - the photos (or `art work') of the band might be appreciated by the teeny- poppers amongst us. If you're into Black Metal Hammer Horror genre bands; you'll like it.
If you want music with power and atmosphere that transports you - don't go for this LP.
I'd recommend "Miserere" and "Kanon Pokajanen" by Arvo Part, Pierres Sacrees (ED MN 1003) by Dumitrescu, "In a Silent Way" Miles Davis, "Floating Frequencies/ Intuitive Synthesis: vol 1 - 3" by ELEH "In Oceans Abandoned by Life I Drown/ ...To Live Again as a Servant of Darkness" by Nordvargr.
If you want a real exercise in orchestral feedback, go for Lou Reed's "Metal Machine Music" performed by the Zeitkratzer orchestra (Live).
If you're a sunn o))) completist: get M&D: but I bet you won't play it much.