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Saturday 15 July 2017

Another Point Of View: Sunn O))) (Live Review By Charl)

Sunn O))), SWX Bristol

Having been a fan of Sunn O))) since the beginning, it may come as a shock to most that this is the first time I've seen them live. Two and a half hour performance. My fucking God. It's honestly difficult to review their live performance. Perhaps if you were in a sweat lodge with a shaman chanting over you with two speakers attached to your face, you'd understand. I was disappointed on learning that the gig had been moved from Trinity centre to SWX, but I can now see why. Not only the demand for tickets, but Trinity's roof would more than likely have crumbled to bits.

Sunn O))) are a sonically challenging experience live, and the only way to describe that it *is* an experience. Ever breathe a frequency? Fuck, I have now. My eyeballs shook and I can honestly say I cried like a little bitch. I'm not entirely sure what emotions I was having. Excitement mixed with fear? Joy? Arousal? Possibly all of these. At one point the sound is so thick I can feel it pushing against my skin, forcing my head down. Sexy drone suckjob. Glancing about the immediate area, all I see is heads bowed and hands clasped in front of people, like at a sermon, and it honestly does feel like some sort of ritual.

Atilla gutturally invoking and gesturing, Greg Anderson and Stephen O'Malley shrouded in smoke in the background, raising their arms and crashing them down brutally upon their bass. I occasionally catch a glimpse of Anderson's face and by God if the man isn't grinning with pleasure at the crushing noise he's causing. Bless. There are several 'costume' changes by Attila, starting out relatively normal .. cloaked up, cloaked up with a melting face (unless I was tripping balls from the vibrations, entirely possible) and signalling the end of the set, what appears to be a gimp statue of liberty, covered in glass, spikes and lazers. It honestly comes as no surprise. And then it's over. Smiling, they bow, wave and leave. Two and a half hours has felt like mere minutes. 

Perhaps I went into some sort of different realm at some point. I felt like I had my soul well and truly fucked by vibrations and noise. My nose was leaking a tiny amount of blood and my legs feel like jelly. I needed a moment to get my bearings. Everyone around me looked in a state of confusion or near catatonia. What's just happened? Was something fucking special, that's for sure. 10/10

Note - keep the earplugs in. Out of curiosity I removed mine for less than a second and thought my head was violently collapsing inwards. Which I'm pretty sure it was.

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