During the sessions for the grandiose album Life Metal, released earlier this year, Sunn O))) partook in a daily improvisational exercise either before or after the day’s recording work. Four pieces from those practices were assembled to form a companion LP, Pyroclasts. In advance of the release, the post-metal band has shared the first full track from the album, the 11-minute drone “Frost (C)”.
Derived from modal improv exercises, the track is noticeably more experimental and chaotic than those on Life Metal, resembling harsh noise at times. Recorded by Steve Albini direct to two-inch tape in the same environment as Life Metal, Pyroclasts acts as a sequel of sorts. It presents a duality in performance — the chaotic flipside to the musical restraint of Sunn’s previous album.
For all of the performances on Pyroclasts, Sunn’s core duo of Stephen O’Malley and Greg Anderson were joined by collaborators T.O.S., Hildur Guðnadóttir, and Tim Midyett (formerly of cult indie rock band Silkworm). With the press release for the album, they shared these zen-like suggestions to the open-minded listener:
“For the listener or recipient/participant there are deep rewards within the patience of pulling down the walls and letting the music feel, and feel the music. To be immersed will reveal great detail and colour, clarify image, encourage a depth of focus and stillness which may lead to a quite profound experience. Sitting inside the space of time. A deep form of elementalism, even atomism, and connection with presence moment, time and reality.”
Pyroclasts, which arrives October 25th, was mastered by Matt Colton through all analog processes straight from Albini’s tape, making the new album sonically interchangeable with Life Metal. Stream the new track below and order Pyroclasts via Southern Lord beginning October 4th. Having recently completed a brief North American run, Sunn 0))) are set to embark on a fall European tour.