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4.0 out of 5 stars
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4.0 out of 5 stars
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on 24 May 2006
Sounding like something dragged against its will from the depths of the abyss, this album rates alongside Coil's stunning Unnatural History II - Smiling In The Face Of Perversity and Bass Communion's Ghosts On Magnetic Tape as recordings which I play when I want to feel at home in the dark.

To call this inspired is to completely fail in giving it enough credit. The `White' Sunn O))) albums are magnificent, but this is like an entity that grew a temporary skin and crawled out to meet the end of the world. I simply cannot recommend it enough and if you have a love of shadows then you are missing pure un-cut heroin.

Life is often a dark place and there is a pleasure to be had in that. Black One is the proof and I wish you lots of happiness drinking it down.
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on 21 January 2006
I've followed Sunn and their recordings since the Grimmrobe demos and they never fail to inspire and awe in their recordings. This is some of the heaviest and most bass sonic of their recordings so far, but also, especially on tracks 4 and 6, some of their most rythmatic and accessible. You really need to appreciate all the textures and tones by listening through good earphones turned up very loud.
The theme is dark and crushing and so are the compositions to match. Some of the drone and sub bass is just amazing when it all clicks together, almost hypnotizing. If you like their other stuff then you'll appreciate the progression on Black One, especially the unique vocals, but also, I'd say this is as good as White One if you are new to the band and looking for a starting point.
Beware though, Sunn O ))) are an acquired taste and a very challenging listen. So many people don't understand what these guys strive to achieve. 4 stars because a couple of tracks haven't quite clicked for me yet.
Experiment and you might just realise the majesty.
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on 18 November 2005
'Black One' can be described as Sunn 0)))'s black metal album.
However, to appreciate it, it is necessary to let go of some tenets of black metal orthodoxy, such as: high tempo music, a trebly sound which places black metal in opposition to relatively bass-heavy dance-oriented genres such as techno and hip hop, and lousy production values signifying resistance to the musical mainstream. Black One is - as might be expected from a Sunn 0))) album - slow, excruciatingly slow; it has fathomless depths of bass, even deeper than the previous releases; and it has a very subtle sound design.
Then why is it Sunn 0)))'s black metal album? Not only have US Black Metal anti-luminaries Malefic (Xasthur, Twilight) and Wrest (Leviathan, Lurker of Chalice, Twilight) joined the ranks, gloomily gargling deeply distrorted, generally unintelligible lyrics. Moreover, where White 1 and 2 appeared to be oriented towards a relatively benign paganism (cf Julian Cope’s lyrics on My wall), the focus of this album is on an intensely dark, nightmarish atmosphere that is the hallmark of a black metal album. Even more than many of the best black metal albums, Black One posits music as a mise en scene of the listener in a hellish, icy landscape – reminiscent perhaps of black metal’s Scandinavian birthground. Its lyrics, which speak of a cosmic nihilism in the Lovecraftian sense, refer to places (cemeteries, sarcophagi, pits, voids, valleys, precipices) rather than to events. One key moment on the album is on the sixth track, where one hears the – quite unnerving – sound of a huge wooden door creaking on its hinges, the sound of one of Lucio Fulci’s seven Gates of Hell slowly opening: it is a sound that functions in the music as a decor might function in the theatre. Black One’s abyssal basses and fog-like noise guitars make the music resonate with spatial sound rather than with temporal metre, rhythm or melody, with space rather than with structure. Thus, Sunn 0)))’s latest album resonates with an evil, icy ecstasy (ecstasy meaning spiritual life beyond the confines of temporality) rather than with time.
To paraphrase Coil, Sunn 0)))’s Black One cures you of time.
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on 10 November 2008
I first heard about Sunn O))) while finding out about different genres of Heavy Metal. They are completely different from anything I have ever heard. If you've read that Doom Metal bands usually have Melodic, or 'Dreamlike' passages in their music, forget all that for now. Black One drags you down, sideways and inside out with constant feedback and distortion. It's definately not just 'Noise' as some would say. I kid you not when I say that on the song 'Cry for the Weeper', hairs stood on the back of my neck, and at one point I jumped out of my skin. 'Báthory Erzsébet' is just scary, man, and 'Cursed Realms (Of the Winterdemons)' is my personol favourite. Vocals really give a nasty edge, to an already dark, menacing atmosphere. It's not unlike entering a derelict house on a stormy night, lit by a full moon, and having the door slam shut behind you, as strange and eerie noises echo in every room.
This album was a real insight into Sub-genres of Heavy Metal, a much under-rated album, thus still having underground status. I suppose I'd better compare Sunn O))) to someone, so, Earth I suppose would be the closest. Well, I hope I've done justice to this great album with this review, buy, and enjoy, for I'm sure you will.
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on 8 October 2010
I like Sunn but for goodness sake people, all their records are exactly the same!! I like most doom, drone, black, death metal but come on, this Sunn obssession is just ridiculous. Goatsnake were great. Exciting, rocking and fresh. Sunn unfortunately appeal to the kind of people who read vice magazine like it's the bible. I'm pretty sure the band themselves are laughing at how many people have fallen for this one trick pony. Those who say "you don't get it" are talking nonsense. These guys have 1 riff. And it's a good riff. Once.
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on 4 January 2014
Up there as one of the darkest albums ever made, each track is a dark masterpiece. I wouldn't say it's the best thin Sunn has released, but it is one of their best albums. A great entrance point into the band, especially if you are a fan of black, doom or Avant music before hand. Absolutely stellar
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on 6 March 2014
one of my top 10 all time LPs .

That's it but i need to say more words this is stupid I am going to stop reviewing stuff on amazon unless i can make concise reviews.
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on 29 March 2016
almost scary....
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on 25 June 2007
This album is terrible. Nothing happens. You might aswell pay money for white noise. The music doesnt 'suck you in' because there is no music. I'm usually pretty open minded but this is even beyond me. Why do they bother with a drummer? or guitarists for that matter. You could make this using mickey mouse music makers. Absolute waste of a good CD. Use it as a drink mat.
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