Sunn O))) Detail New Album, ‘Life Metal’

The group's first album in four years is due out in April, while another will follow later in the year

Sunn O))) have announced details of Life Metal, their first studio album in four years.

Group co-founders Stephen O’Malley and Greg Anderson began production on the record at the start of 2018 with a determination to create new music and a new method of working inside the studio without forgetting their production history over the course of the group’s first two decades. You can watch a video trailer for the resulting record above.

A press release explains that O’Malley and Anderson set out working on Life Metal with one specific goal: to work with Steve Albini in his Electrical Audio studio. In spring of last year, O’Malley and Anderson gathered at Downtown Rehearsal in Los Angeles, the building in which the band was formed, to begin writing and conceptualising the new LP. They followed these early sessions in summer with a pre-production session at Dave Grohl’s 606 studios in California alongside longtime collaborator T.O.S..

They then spent two weeks at Electrical Audio with Albini. A press release explains: "An all analogue technique was used, they recorded and mixed on tape, providing a creative gateway for Sunn O))) to evolve their production methods into stronger, confident, performance based and a more logical executive process."

It has also been revealed that a second "more meditative" LP titled Pyroclasts, which was recorded by Albini alongside Life Metal, will arrive in the autumn of this year.

Sometime live collaborator of Sunn O)))’s and film composer Hildur Guðnadóttir contributed to Life Metal, adding vocals, electric cello and haldorophone to proceedings on the track ‘Novæ’. Tim Midyett, a close friend of O’Malley and Anderson, added aluminium neck bass and baritone guitars to other tracks. Midyett, Guðnadóttir and T.O.S. have all contributed to the second album due later this year too, alongside O’Malley and Anderson.

The band will tour Europe through March ahead of the release of Life Metal via Southern Lord in April. You can find a list of tour dates here. Dates in London and other cities are also in the works.

Southern Lord will release Life Metal on April 13, 2019.

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