Sunn O))) – Kannon

SUNN O))) REMAIN TODAY’S most distinctive heavy rock stylists. Forsaking the mere ear-candy of rhythm and melody, what’s left is just distortion and timbre humming across slo-mo riffs which seem to progress on a geological time scale. Deep action: SUNN O))) by Peter Beste

Such powerfully immersive “ambient metal” has attracted erudite collaborators, notably Scott Walker. But, next to 2014’s Scott 0))) album Soused, this is a routine reiteration of the extraordinary. The familiar feel is accentuated by creakingly eerie vocals from a regular associate, Hungary’s Attila Csihar, though the doom metal plainsong on Kannon 2 does give a novel undertow.

Sunn O))) devotees will find satisfaction, but newcomers should start with 2009’s igneous rock classic Monoliths & Dimensions – a place where the rock riff has less to do with Smoke On The Water than a team of cowled monks shunting a giant stone from the entrance to a mystery sarcophagus.