3 Oct 2013

Nonsun - Sun Blind Me [EP] (2013, Breathe Plastic Records/Drowning)

Slowly, the ponderous, stoned out riff of Rain Have Mercy tunes in, accompanied by the soft yet intense sound of an organ. As the riff gains momentum the drums come in until finally culminating in a full-fledged clamor of heavy, sludgy, droning doom metal at the 4 minute mark. Goatooth's moribund vocals emerges from the shadows, and soon after the track slows down to a slower, jamming tempo until lurching into motion again, exposing the consortium of what could be a trippy organ piece or almost psychedelic guitar solo that has been lurking in the many layers of Nonsun. Alpha's drumming betrays a fascination for post-rock atmospheres that Goatooth's ethereal riffing over the originally heavy main course enhances. This is just one way to describe the alluring musical intimacy that emanates from Nonsun's music on Sun Blind Me.

I like drone. And for you to like Nonsun you have to like drone too, even if this isn't the main piece de resistance of the Ukranian duo's music. This group isn't a drone band in the same sense that Sunn O))) are a drone band. While there are long stretches of unmelodic drones followed by nothing but feedback for minutes on end, the duo presents a style with additional influences from sludge and stoner metal at times, resulting in parts that are essentially like incredibly slow and groaning sludgy doom metal, and this variation results in a less inert and inactive type of drone. Like described above, the entirety of Nonsun's music is not the well-known ambience-influenced droning that many other bands in the scene partake in. Vocals are a seldomly occuring thing on Sun Blind Me,but whenever they're there they are executed in a raw style contrasting nicely with the rest of the music.

Sun Blind Me is the second release from Nonsun, an EP of four tracks like the first one, Good Old Evil. However, the first two tracks have been re-used from the old EP, and as such the only new material on Sun Blind Me are the two parts of the Alphomega track, Sunlit Darkness and Upward Blindness. The interesting thing about the 2013 EP is the way it progresses deeper and deeper into drone territory. From the stoned, half-psychedelic Rain Have Mercy we emerge into a more nightmarish soundscape wtih Frogotten Is What Never Was, a track with funeral tones fit for a crypt or funerary procession. With the first part of Alphomega we descend into yet darker domains, bordering on dark ambient. The second part is the most droney part of the EP, the dark rumbling of a black hole underneath a cavernous guitar being the main foundation for the track before being substituted by a bleak guitar piece which rings out for the duration of the track. Upward Blindness is also the shortest track on the EP being only slighty over 8 minutes in length.

Liking Nonsun and Sun Blind Me took some time. You have to take the time to sit down and listen thoroughly to catch all the details. Sun Blind Me is kind of short for a drone doom release, and I suppose that's why the band classify it as an EP rather than a full length album. I originally felt that continuety was a weak point with Nonsun, but after having listened to the release a few times I came to appreciate the progression that I described earlier. If you're expecting mindnumbing heaviness and cosmic emptiness like in the music of Sunn O))) you will be disappointed, because this is not where Nonsun's strengths lie. The autumnal hymns and tenebrous canticles are a beautiful soundtrack to the fall, and I think fans of Om and Earth should be pleased. 8/10 guitars.

1. Rain Have Mercy
2. Forgotten Is What Never Was
3. Alphomega (Part 1: Sunlit Darkness)
4. Alphomega (Part 2: Upward Blindness)

Nonsun on Bandcamp
Nonsun on Facebook
Visit the official site of Drowning and download the EP for free
Breathe Plastic Records official site

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