It’s rare to get good obscure acts in this town so when I read that SUNNO))) ( pronounced SUN ) was coming I was (for lack of a better word) ; stunned ( and very excited as well ). Sun Ray Cinema was the venue (formerly the old Club 5 ) which mainly shows movies these days (but occasionally still does music ). Upon entering into the main concert hall you were standing in awe of stacks and stacks of SUNNO))) amplifiers that band is known for ( they procured the rights to use the name of the now discontinued amp company for their band as they loved them so much ) plus a few Ampeg and Orange amps to boot. The opening act Big Brave was a trio that consisted of two guitarists ( one who sang ) and a drummer. Their sound was slow heavy distorted chords/feedback/loops/noise, minimal drums and vocals ( sometimes singing, or yelling etc… ) Interesting to say the least, but a perfect opening act. The smoke started to billow in thicker and the lights cast an eerie glow before several hooded figures graced the stage. SUNNO))) generally consists of two guitarists Stephen O’Malley and Greg Anderson but on this tour they had some additional musicians ; Attila Csihar, Tos Nieuwenhuizen, and Steve Moore on (vocals, keyboards and trombone at one point ). When it’s the two core members it’s just down-tuned heavy guitar that drones slowly with no percussion through each song. However, with the keyboards adding in even more low frequencies … well you can imagine how loud it was. By loud, I don’t mean ear-piercing high end, I am talking about a thunderous low vibration that radiated through the entire building, the floor the seats, your entire body ( at one point my empty drink glass vibrated off the table onto the floor ). Each guitarist would raise their picking hand high in the air ( along with the guitar sometimes ) and slowly bring it down to release each resonating chord. A bottle of wine was passed around to each member to drink from as the music intensified. I felt as if I was part of a ceremony , worshiping at a sonic temple, glorifying the almighty riff and the power of pure sound. You were bathed in the drone as it passed through you, almost vibrating your molecules at their very core. The vocals were a mix of chanting, spoken word, sometimes low throat singing along with the music and hand gestures, that again, made it feel like some type of dark ritual was taking place ( I kept waiting for a dimensional portal to open and some hideous creature from a Lovecraftian nightmare would break through to our realm from the intensity of it all. ) At one point, the two guitarists left the stage for a brief period and the other musicians kept the momentum going with a dense wall of auditory bombardment and vocals. Upon returning both guitarists once again added their tonal devastation to the mix again ( and I swear it got even louder ) while their vocalist abandoned his robe for a new costume that was made of tiled pieces of mirror and a 360 degree head-dress of long protruding spikes that were also mirrored. He also had laser lights that projected from his hands and all the lights reflected his costume as well. The music begin to swell and build and build until finally the volume slowly died and the show was over. SUNNO))) are both music and performance art who have taken what Black Sabbath started so long ago, slowed it down to a sloth like crawl, increased the volume and made it into a new musical art form. ANY fan of heavy music should experience seeing this band live at least once as it truly is a glorification of sound and not just a concert. Whatever you do though, bring ear-plugs!
Review and photos by Craig Harvey