Sun 0))) & Ulver – Terrestrials by Ben Spencer

Rating: 3/5
Distributor/ Label: Southern Lord Release
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Released: 2014
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SUNN200_3mmCover170913Band Line up

Drums – Tomas Pettersen
Mastered By – Jaime Gomez Arellano
Mixed By – Anders Møller
Performer [Aggregation] – Daniel O’Sullivan
Performer [Aggregation] – Greg Anderson
Performer [Aggregation] – Jørn H. Sværen
Performer [Aggregation] – Tore Ylwizaker
Performer [Aggregation], Producer – Kristoffer Rygg
Performer [Aggregation], Producer, Art Direction – Stephen O’Malley

Trumpet – Stig Espen Hundsnes
Viola, Violin – Kari Rønnekleiv
Viola, Violin – Ole Henrik Moe

Photography By [Cover] – Alan Friedman

Album Track listing

1. Let There Be Light
2. Western Horn
3. Eternal Ruin


Collaborations within music are always an interesting endeavour but one that either works harmoniously or falls flat on its face. When Sun 0))) and Ulver decided to team up to release a sound that is wholly there own, it is sure to draw some considerable intrigue. Sure enough this blend of grandiose soundscapes and fluid like movements are set to both attract and repel listeners with the release of Terrestrials.

Unfolding with ‘Let There Be Light’ the straying guitars and ambient effects set the tone throughout the duration of the opening track. Around half way through a brass sounding influence leaks in, adding an extra layer of density, as the instrumentation reverberates with a tense sounding atmosphere with the drums coming into focus towards the end.

Next up, ‘Western Horn’ flows with a dissonant sounding wave corroding with distant keys and fuzziness that remains prominent as the track runs it’s course. Full of haunting images and downbeat tones it’s a track that will take a while to absorb.

Closing off with the proggy sounding ‘Eternal Ruin’ the violins assume the focal point with keys woven into the core. The sludge driven drums can faintly be heard in the far off reaches of the landscape being depicted and continually blur in and out of focus. The second half of the track offers up a brief procession of mournful vocals and abysmal sounding violins.

The problem with this record is how inaccessible it feels at times. It certainly isn’t the sort of release that will draw people in easily and for the most part you do get a sense of alienation from the directionless meanderings of the songs presented here. Only the most patient and dedicated of listeners will be able to fully reap the benefits and find the hidden treasures that are scattered throughout. Make no mistake they are unmistakably there, you just have to dig deep within yourself to find them.

Review by Ben Spencer