I am revising my review based on further extensive (perhaps excessive] listening.
This is an album that, more than most, benefits from volume, repeated listening and high quality hifi. It isn't an easy listen, and there is a good chance many listeners will have to invest some considerable effort into it. To be honest, I am staggered by this album. Its scope is really quite incredible and the detail is awe-inspiring.
I was a little unconvinced by the Attila's vocals in the first review. This is where multi listens is helpful because my brain, at least, become less distracted by the linguistic content and was able to hear it within the wider context.
I like the idea of Randell Dunn but I don't always like what he does to the sound of drums and his records sometimes seem to me to lack dynamic range and crisp high frequencies. On this album, I have no reservations at all. The recording of this must have been very challenging, as it has a wide variety of instruments (from the space-time-continuum altering guitars and associated speakers and more speakers and more speakers to delecate cymbal sounds and scratching strings, and from three acoustic bass guitars to female vocal chanting/singing). Deeply impressive.
There's a definate journey feel about this album, which I like, starting with the abrupt onset of high-volume downtuned guitars to the light and astral gliding of the trombone at the end, covering an enormous amount of ground in the middle.
As a drone metal fan, I rate this as the single most significant and impressive drone metal album of the noughties. Simply majestic. In my top 5 albums of the noughties without a shadow of a doubt. I will never listen to music in the same way again. Oh, and the presentation is great too!
I really cannot recommend this highly enough.
[25th August 2009]
I suspect this will turn out to be one of the definitive drone metal albums of the 00s. Perhaps a tad too much vocals for me (on tracks 1 and 3) but I'm sure others will say not enough!
I've noticed Amazon pairs this album with Isis. However, I suspect that if you like Monoliths and Dimensions, you'll also like Black Bone Angel's new one too. Check it out! It is superb: Verdun
Can't wait for the upcoming Om, Shrinebuilder and A Storm of Light albums now...