One thing that the material on this disc is clear to say is that this is not a split album in any way. This is a combination of Sunn0))) and Boris creating all of the music on this album. None of the tracks on “Altar” are short in the least, so the minds behind two of the most off the cuff “heavy” music bands are able to ramble and roam for a time worthy of their stature. While a track like “Etna” may not have many things happening at one given time (much of the track has little more than drums and guitar going), the overall sound of the treack is full to the brim. Sunn0)) and Boris here create a track that is as full of narrative as any Steinbeck book, and with all the fury of the fires of Hell.
The music is not going to win any awards for being the quickest or most “metal”, but what the act does is create something that reverberates in the deepest, darkest parts of listeners’ hearts and resides there for the entirety of the album. The fact that nothing more than reverberation can resound and that the band call it an introduction is beyond me; what Sunn0))) and Boris do on this album is nothing less than a culmination of Warhol and Lichtenstein. Individuals will literally drop a load in their drawers when “The Sinking Belle (Blue Sheep)” begins.
While the same sense of intensity is present in this track as can be expected by a band that is comprised of Sunn0))) and Boris, the overall sound is far removed from either act’s output. The track feels more like an exercise in indie rock than anything else. The track enjoys the same length as the other songs on the album,, but the length of the track feels much longer than other songs that have nearly the same runtime. This is due to the sea change that the band makes during this track; instead of necessarily building on the compositions on earlier parts of the track, Sunn0))) and Boris come through and create a song that continually goes back to basics in “The Sinking Belle”. This is yet another album that will have listeners thinking about each bit of arrangement that this super group commits to disc. Tracks from this album may never make it on the radio, but at the end of the day, I’m not sure any of the bandmates care.
Top Track: Akuma No Kuma