I’m not sure if SunnO))), are painful, but they sure are physical. The extreme volume moves and shakes every cell of your body, the room, the air, time. Lying in bed last night there was a throbbing in my head, not the tinitus whistle of too many cymbals and guitars. The extreme noise generated is so in the lower frequency range.
Thing is, to experience sunnO))) properly you have to complete the course, sit it out, hell, endure it. At the Corsica Studios in Elephant and Castle last night the tiny, archway, venue rang to gloom of Mssrs. O’Malley and Anderson’s sonic assualt for what seemed like a lifetime but may well have been over an hour and a half. Relentless, unyielding.
For this series of shows the band have stripped back to the core duo of Greg Anderson and Stephen O’Malley, yet this reduction in personel has done nothing to lessen the impact. Twin Les Pauls and the customarily impressive sunnO))) backline (here in a semi circular arrangement to fit upon the tiny stage), smoke machines, minimal lights and the grimmrobes, it all adds up to a dark and loud ritual.
Some have said that a sunnO))) show is an endurance test, well in a way it is, but in the way that climbing a mountain or running a marathon is. At times it’s hard, at times you wonder if it will ever end, if things will ever be the same again, but, when the show is finally over there is a sense of achievement rarely felt at a rock n’ roll show.