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Sunn O))), New Century. 28th March 2024

There’s many great things about a Sunn O))) gig. One being that it doesn’t matter where you stand as you can’t see anything anyway. The room, in tonight’s case New Century, is shrouded in smoke. Visuals you see aren’t important. You’ll catch glimpses of the hooded figures on stage through the dense fog that tease and tantalise, but this is all about the sound. If you’ve had a casual listen you might be forgiven for being confused, for this is the forefront of drone metal. Long low frequency riffs played at truly deafening volume. Free earplugs are available at the bar, but this isn’t my first time in a room with them so I’ve come prepared. Still, as that first guitar string is struck and the army of amps roar into life, it really takes you back. The power is intense. It resonates through every fibre of the room and every soul in it. It’s a sold out crowd of disciples. All stood stock still in awe. With no percussion, there’s not recognisable rhythm to even bob your head to. However, as your mind settles in, something magical, trancelike takes over, creating a wave through your system that seems to translate into your legs. Pockets of bodies appear to move in unison. Like underwater plants anchored to the seabed. Obviously it’s a weird gig and an odd experience, but a magnificent one. Time passes ridiculously fast as you’re transported to a higher plain. Sustained riffs roll over and into one another as tracks transcend the confines of any formal structure. The air conditioning in New Century does pull the smoke out of the room effectively. So it’s really just the stage that looks other worldly. This is a bit of a shame. It Albert Hall last time you could only see about 10ft in front of you and it really helped the atmosphere, but it still works tonight. As the three sun inspired spotlights slowly and ominously probe the room. After an hour, I loosen my earplugs a little, y’know… just to see what’s it’s like. Seriously, they make Mogwai sound timid. I’m surprised venues book them, I’d be fearful for the foundations. It won’t be for everyone, but give them a go, you might surprise yourself and if you find yourself intrigued, get a long to a gig.  It’s a stunning way to spend an evening. Literally spine tingling . The sound of the apocalypse.


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