Ultrasonic drone practitioners and Southern Lord Recording artists, Sunn O))) recently brought the thunder to Philadelphia’s Union Transfer along with grind punks Dead In The Dirt and industrial death worshipers T.O.M.B. for one of the most memorable shows of the year. Per usual- Blow The Scene was on hand to deliver a dense photo gallery for your viewing pleasure.
Where to start with this show..
Let’s just say the crowd may not have been ready for opening act T.O.M.B. (Total Occultic Mechanical Blasphemy) who proceeded to melt eardrums with a barrage of sounds that defy standard musical classification. To describe the set as “slow” would be far too dismissive. Think of the sounds tectonic plates make when shifting huge segments of the Earth’s crust. That might give you some idea the scale of these gargantuan and unorthodox movements of sound. If I were to define a “climax” during the performance, it would have to be when the guitarist began scraping an animal horn across a what looked like slab of slate amplified through a guitar pickup and subsequent PA system. The overwhelming but intriguing sounds caused several in the audience to buckle while others straight up blacked out. Now there’s something you don’t see everyday.
Atlanta’s Dead In The Dirt hit the stage next and couldn’t be much further across the musical spectrum with an onslaught of fast d-beat infused metal and discordant riffing that was beautifully unrelenting and brutal. Irate screams over a suffocating heavy low-end shifting the tides from punishing d-beat bottoms to grind blasts. If you missed it, be sure to scope Dead In The Dirt’s latest 7” offering on Southern Lord, entitled Fear– One of the best 7” efforts of 2011 with a live show to match.
Last and certainly not least, Sunn O))) hit the stage and as our photographer, Dante Torrieri said best, “they hit decibel levels most only dream of.” Pushing the boundaries of sheer ridiculousness or awesomeness, depending on your threshold for the extreme, Sunn O))) is a band to be experienced in a live setting. Sure, you could crank up your home stereo to the max and smash your eardrum against the woofer for a supplemental effect, but there is nothing quite like being succumb under gallows upon gallows of fog with a soundtrack befitting of the apocalypse. Turning brain matter into puree, Sunn O))) deliver pulsating movements that are as much felt by the audience as they are heard. Crawling paces give way into sonic outputs of noisy electronic bursts and thundering guitar distortions.
Sunn O))) have been honing and perfecting a widely influential and critically adored drone sound and live experience that is simply unmatched today. Adding to its already dense catalog of demos, EPs, singles, and LPs, Sunn O))) recently released Rehearsal Demo Nov 11 2011 that was recorded by at the Southern Lord Caves in Los Angeles on November 11, 2011. This album was a split release by Ideologic Organ and Southern Lord Recordings with limited edition vinyl only available on Sunn O)))‘s Summer 2012 Tours. If history shed any light, we’ll be hearing more from these drone masters soon enough.
Until then, enjoy an exclusive photo gallery of Sunn O))), Dead In The Dirt, and T.O.M.B. at The Union Transfer in Philadelphia by Blow The Scene‘s Senior Staff Photographer, Dante Torrieri (Useless Rebel Imaging).