The first drone album I ever heard was White One by Sunn0))).

A close friend (on the same wavelength) introduced me to this mother of an outfit in early 2003 and the chaosphere of mind-bending aoratic discoveries I found within its grooves proved to be a very heavy find indeed.

The receptive connection I developed with this newly discovered “drone current” rapidly precipitated a magickally-charged transformation in my life both as a “maker” of “doom metal” and as a “psychonaut” who wishes to use music(k) to journey to other planes of consciousness. The hi-fidelity delights of drone also developed with reference to my investigations with my “stoner coven” and slowly but surely my friends and I connected our heathen fanaticism to “low frequency ambient drone.”

The opening track on White One and the artefact which constitutes the nascent epiphany and chaospheric semiotic that catapulted me into a lifelong fanaticism with all things drone is entitled “My Wall.”

This twenty-eight minute drone classic with O Malley and Anderson on guitar and bass accompanied by a Julian Cope monologue truly blew mind because it was so out-there, so avant-garde and unlike any sound I’d ever experienced before-i.e. life-shakingly unforgettable and after that example of sonic art, things would never be the same again.

I just didn’t know that you could create such far-out heavy-metal, just through a wall of vintage valve amplification and “half-inching the drums.” “My Wall” is quite possibly the most supremely blissful track to get lost in, so low frequency and ambient yet so intrinsically heathen in its execution. The success of the track drone-wise quite arguably relies on the mixing and there are many interesting sonic artifices used in the production of the track which are supremely blissful.

The track holds you transfixed and takes you on a sublime journey through a stoner dystopia. Cope invites us to “stand in the thrall of My Wall.” What a wall it is too taking the form of vintage “born too late” nineteen-seventies valve stacks courtesy of their discontinued namesake amplification sunn0))) and boy is that one serious backline. It’s seem to crush you, but in a much more ethereal way complete you, as Cope’s arcane stoner spoken word holds you in it’s sway.

The second track on the album “Gates of Ballard” really moved me with Runhild Gamelsaeter’s “Mountain Shower Euphony” followed by a chugging sonisphere of pure and sublime delight accompanied by a most amazing drum machine soundtrack by Rex Ritter.

This drum machine track capitulates and partners the bass and guitars in such a way as to reference in a “post-rock” polemic the delights of Heavy Metal and its place as a stylistic ethos and cultural phenomenon.

The sequel “White Two” is equally righteous and filled with the “drone triumphant.” It starts with the crushing slayerology of “Hell0))) een, a composition that utilizes crashing slabs of doomantia which grate against each other like the meshings of an Iron Maiden. It hums…

The first drone album was arguably “Earth2” and their visionary head Dylan Carlson is definitely responsible for the whole genre. The guys who carried this on and made an hour-long single drone track mixed at such a low frequency (so as the drums sound like a tin of biscuits being hit) were Japanese purveyors of Doom “Boris” and their album “Absolutego”-Carlson later said that their album sounds like “two slugs fucking” and to be honest he isn’t wrong.

The album begins with a low hum and builds up with a slow crushing bass-line slowly creeping up on you in black clouds of surrealistic doom drenching through the speakers in overlapping mesmeric layers of relentless, perpetual affirmative low frequency signal to noise.

It was before everything that I first encountered the drone/doom aesthetic and polemic in the form of O Malley and Anderson’s project “Burning Witch.” It pulls no punches and at first listen you laugh at how crushingly heavy it is but after that are scared shitless by it. Their sound is difficult to describe sometimes like a nightmare sometimes so shrouded and melodic it brings a tear to your eye. This is most probably due to the two different vocal techniques by Edgy 59 of screaming and melodic vocals.

“Burning Witch” also begat “Khanate” who developed a bare, stripped down sound that is also uncompromisingly heavy.

For myself and many other “drone sluts” there is nothing more blissful or more earth shatteringly life-affirming than a wall of feedback and the hum of “blackened sub-bass”-and nothing harder or more easy to create. I hope you dear reader will also pledge your undying allegiance to the “drone triumphant”.

It took the night to believe...

It took the night to believe…

~ by EMPTY SUN on October 30, 2015.

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