Drone titans Sunn O))) play two shows at Rockefeller Chapel and release the beautiful new Life Metal | Concert Preview | Chicago Reader

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Drone titans Sunn O))) play two shows at Rockefeller Chapel and release the beautiful new Life Metal


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Update on Friday, April 19, at 4:30 PM: Papa M is no longer on the bill for the Friday show. Sunn O))) will play at 9 PM. Papa M is still scheduled for the Monday show.

If you’ve ever heard the music of dark-hooded dronemeisters Sunn O))), you may have reached the conclusion that its core members, Stephen O’Malley and Greg Anderson, have a different sense of time than the rest of us. Their tectonically slow-paced music certainly seems dense enough to warp the space around it. Still, it’s been four years since they put out their seventh full-length, Kannon, and the duo have seen fit to reward us for our patience with not one but two new studio albums in 2019—both of which were recorded last year at Chicago’s Electrical Audio with Steve Albini. The first, Life Metal, comes out April 26, though a limited-edition double LP will be available for Record Store Day on April 13. This time out, the band’s themes and aesthetics have a spiritual, life-affirming quality (also embodied in gorgeous cover art by Samantha Keely Smith), but fear not—their music hasn’t lost any of its characteristic weight. O’Malley and Anderson’s crew of collaborators on Life Metal include Australian composer Anthony Pateras (who plays pipe organ on “Troubled Air”), Chicago bassist and baritone guitarist Tim Midyett (known for his work in Mint Mile, Bottomless Pit, and Silkworm), and Icelandic polymath Hildur Guðnadóttir, whose voice, electric cello, and electroacoustic banjo hybrid (known as a “halldorophone”) add haunting beauty to the epic 25-minute “Novae.” The second album from the Albini sessions, Pyroclasts, is due this fall, and between releases Sunn O))) will celebrate their 20th year with an epic American and European tour. Their two Chicago shows, which take place in the acoustic wonderland of Rockefeller Chapel, should be unforgettable experiences.   v

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