Long and arduous journeys can at times be a right of passage or ritual of progression or even metaphors for life in general, and the idea that this release marks my listening to SunnO))) for a mind-blowing almost 15 years (I bought The Grimm Robe demo from Aaron Turner at the Hydra Head table when day 1 of Hellfest 2000 went belly up in the parking lot of the Lost Horizon) leaves me mystified and misty eyed; I mean that I ask myself how did I get so damn old and have I really been listening to this particular conceptual noise / drone project for this long when so many have asked what the point to it is.
La Reh 012 answers so many of these questions in the most appropriate ways possible by being a throwback to what initially drew my ears to SunnO))) time and again while also not sounding dated or hackneyed or a parody of themselves in any way, but the beauty of this is that this LP does reach back to when the sounds that SunnO))) was more raw and uncompromising and vague in a manner that renders the leaps that this outfit made with Monoliths & Dimensions (possibly their most accessible work with the potential exception being Alter, the collaboration with Boris) a thing of memory as well as leaving their less adventurous listeners behind yet again (see people that only like Monoliths & Dimensions from the group).
Please do not mistake my singling out of certain SunnO))) listeners as snark or disdain because it is neither (OK maybe a little bit), but rather these comments come from experience of explaining why the colossal waves of guitar sound found on The Grimm Robe Demos and ØØ Void is personally appealing to these weathered and damaged ears; and since those same loud guitar ruminations color its sonic landscape, La Reh 012 fits more in line with those albums and illustrates why my line of thought is not completely off base, particularly “Last One” and “Valentine’s Day” (both of which make up the A-side of the album) while on the b-side, “Invisible” still invokes the early period of the duo but adds some samples and synth parts as does “Sleeper”.
SunnO))) ultimately offers an exciting return to their roots with La Reh 012 as massive sounding guitars dominate all nooks and crannies of the room as you blast this at maximum volume making any attempt at escaping the wall of noise impossible save for turning off the stereo, and the overall effect of the record is a glorious fuzzy headed trip into a droning oblivion that might reduce your ears to mush but will definitely leave you crushed; both sides of this record let you zone out and just soak up the sound and physicality at high volumes, and even if these songs are just a one off or something to build off of for a fully realized album, La Reh 012 hits all the spots that SunnO))) initially did the first time that I popped them on my stereo. Listening to La Reh 012 feels like coming home after one of those long excursions.
7.9 / 10
Experimental drone alchemists Sunn O))) have defined two decades of extreme music with their slow, dark offerings. Starting in the early ‘00s, the duo comprised of Stephen O’Malley and Greg ...
Okay, I must say that Sunn 0))) lost me with Oracle, particularly after some mild disappointment in Altar. My eventual listening of Domkirke came quite a while after its release, ...
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