PREVIEW Summer nights rife with rolling mists and lamplit fog beg and plead for a proper soundtrack. But the cold, abandoned sidewalks and slanted shadows need a drop of something more brooding and ethereal than, say, that Matt and Kim album you were playing a minute ago.
This is where the drone metal lords of Sunn O))) come in. Over the course of seven ambitious albums, the duo of Greg Anderson and Stephen O’Malley named after the legendary Sunn amps has created entire universes of sunless sound. As if perpetually engulfed in the gloom of a June night in San Francisco, Anderson and O’Malley perform in druid robes, surrounded by thick wisps of fog. They pound out their dirges at volume 12.
A grim majesty seethes from the four sweeping, cathedral-sized opuses on Sunn O)))’s newest slab of tunes Monoliths & Dimensions (Southern Lord). The recording fits perfectly into the duo’s canon of supremely nuanced doom metal. The slow burn of "Alice", an almost 20-minute perfect storm of dark orchestral beauty that moves at the speed of plate tectonics, is as hypnotizing as watching the sun creep over the horizon at dawn.
For a pair of masterminds behind some of the most highbrow even avant-garde metal being spun into the void, Anderson, a Paris-dwelling graphic designer, and O’Malley, an intellectual who hangs with downtown New York City artists, insist on forever maintaining "pretty low" expectations so they can keep the music real.
Adjectives and verbs are useless in the face of music this heady, and so is listening to it on your lame computer or headphones. Don’t trust your speakers. Put down your Blackberry and shut your mouth. Turn on your brain and stop thinking about your next Twitter post. Cancel all your appointments and flush your meds down the toilet. Something evil this way comes.
SUNN O))) With the Accused. Sat/8, 9 p.m., $16$18. The Independent, 628 Divisadero, SF. (415) 771-1421, www.theindependentsf.com