Have you ever felt the sound? I can say I have.
Last Monday I have got a chance to see one of the most extreme bands on the music scene – Sunn O))), who took their name from the popular amplifier producers. The band showed up in studio 2 of Danish Radio concert hall (DR Koncerthuset) to present their latest records in live form.
The evening started just after 6pm when the venue was filled in with the most dedicated fans of the band for the special early listening session of the upcoming album called ‘Pyroclasts’. The huge screen set up on the stage with the display of the painting illustrating each of the compositions from the album. Fans sat and lay down across the venue enjoying new sounds for the first time. The funny part was that members of Sunn O))) were circulating around the venue to observe the reception of the album.
As a supporting act for the evening, local industrial/noise artist Puce Mary was selected to start things off. The blonde music producer from Copenhagen in a bit over half an hour set managed to present her take on electronic music in the mostly filled venue. Her performance was concluded with loud applause from the crowd. Shortly after that, her equipment was removed and the stage was ready to accept the main performers for the night.
When the last checks of the equipment were completed, and the wall of amplifiers finally started to hum. The venue started to fill in with the smoke. Sunn O))) shows are focused on the sound and for most of the time you can’t really see the band – the smoke cloud in the venue is so dense your visibility is not much more than two meters around which feels a bit like being in the womb. The band also entered the stage, as always covered in black robes with hoods hiding their faces. They pulled the strings of the guitars and filled in the venue with distorted noise. I could feel the vibration of the floor and the noise going through my body.
The facial expression of the girl who was working as a security assistant in the venue was just priceless – even the huge set of noise-canceling headphones was not enough for her. If you have never heard Sunn O))) – their music sounds like Black Sabbath played in very slow motion…just louder. Much louder. One of the comments I have overheard in the venue after the show was ‘it really felt like putting your head into a jet engine’. Some fans really were not prepared for this amount of heavy noise – when the band finished the main part of the night they simply left, even though a tour manager who was sitting in the merch stand was screaming ‘they will come back for one more’! In short – not everyone can digest their music. But I have enjoyed it till the last note.
Coverage and pictures by Kasper Pasinski