Every new release of SUNN O))) is a small surprise for me, due to the fact that I always wonder, what direction Greg Anderson and Stephen O'Malley are now exploring. After the debut "00 Void" , I thought that SUNN are now doing their own Earth adaption on the next five records, but gladly I was wrong. This must be the fourth full-length, and once again, other people are involved here as Thorr's Hammer leadsinger Runhild Gammelsaeter, Julian Cope, Rex Ritter (Fontanelle/ex-Jessamine) and ex-Melvins/now-Thrones bassplayer Joe Preston. The result of this collaboration is diverse, exciting and once again far away from any R'n'R stereotypes. There was enough material recorded for at least two seperate albums, and here's the first set of materials. The first epic sonic structure is the "My Wall" ode, that last about 25 minutes. Julian Cope is performing as an storyteller, and it's very entertaining to listen to his words about SUNN O))), vikings and a lot of other stuff I hadn't understand until now. His talkings are embedded into mighty sunn-drones and it's a very relaxed listening.
With "The Gates Of Ballard", SUNN O))) are coming up with their unique interpretation of heavy doom. This seventeen minutes long track starts with Runhild's beautiful voice, comparable with the first track on the Thorr's Hammer album, but this time she sings only in a clean way, without any deepest grimly growls. After this spoken-word introduction, thee heaviest most downtuned guitar riffs kicks off and Joe Preston is responsible for the drum-computer programmnig, what adds a total different vibe to SUNN O))). The way of his programming is very inspiring and diverse, and not monotonous for a second. By the way, this song is an archival piece of R. Ritter and G. Anderson from 1996. Good to hear, that it has found it way on "White 1". The album closes with "A Shaving of The Horn that Speared You". It's the shortest track with 'only' fifteen minutes, and as every track is different from each other, so you've got it with this one. "A Shaving..." is more ambient like, without the heaviness of the first two songs. For me personal, one bonus of this song is , that it's close to moments of Naked City's "Absinthe", released back in 1993. It's not the usual earth suddering power drone, no it's more like a hypnotic mantra, very mellow and relaxed with a strange and sometimes bizarre atmosphere. "White 1" won't be attractive for the close-minded, but if you like to expand your mind a little bit more, check out this album. I hope, SUNN O))) will continue their way, free from any musicl boundaries and open enough to create more excellent music in the future and so I'm waiting for "White 2".... You can order this album directley from the Southern Lord homepage.