AOTY 2019

Life Metal

Sunn O))) - Life Metal
Critic Score
Based on 12 reviews
2019 Ratings: #45 / 616
User Score
Based on 278 ratings
2019 Ratings: #692
April 26, 2019 / Release Date
LP / Format
Southern Lord / Label
Drone Metal / Genres
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CRITIC REVIEWS

90
Exclaim!

Life Metal retains all the traits that make Sunn O))) who they are, yet intertwined with a spark of unmistakable vibrance that lifts the spirit, even in the midst of such abyssal depths.

90
musicOMH

Life Metal resonates in the surrounding air particles long after the last track concludes, and will reverberate in the minds of listeners longer still. A truly magnificent, very real, and ultimately restorative record.

90
AllMusic

Life Metal is the dawning of a new phase for Sunn 0))), one that resonates with more power and complexity than anything in their catalog.

90
No Ripcord

Calling Life Metal a great metal/rock/guitar album, ultimately, is a disservice: This is a sonic meditation channeled through humbuckers and hearts.

85
The 405

The sound on Life Metal is enrapturing, meditative and all-encompassing, but in a nourishing and enveloping way - an aural womb.

85
The Line of Best Fit

At its best, Life Metal taps into our psyches and rearranges the elements. Sunn O))) have become experts in their harsh and unmerciful take on expanding sound, slowing it to a glacial pace, and finally rearranging it again until it’s unrecognizable.

85
Spectrum Culture

Life Metal brims with the white-hot intensity of the duo’s early records, when the primacy of the distended riff overrode all concerns.

84
Pitchfork

The titanic drone metal duo returns with Steve Albini for an enormous, meticulous, back-to-basics album that shows just how compelling those basics can be.

80
Loud and Quiet

Life Metal invokes a refreshing return to origin: the back-to-basics approach of a grizzled group in their parents’ garage, where they once rehearsed as spotty teens. All told, it sounds like they’ve found a new lease on life.

80
Kerrang!

Gloriously triumphant, weirdly exhilarating and entirely engrossing, Sunn O))) have created something genuinely brilliant here.

70
The Needle Drop

Life Metal is Sunn O)))'s best sounding album to date, though not their most adventurous.

60
PopMatters

Your reaction to Sunn O)))'s Life Metal will depend on whether you prefer a reminder of what Greg Anderson and Stephen O'Malley do so well, or wish that they were still unlocking new potential within what the band can be.

mickc
95
My wife hates it
JoaoSantos
44
This is my introduction to Sunn O))) so I didn't really know what to expect from this album. The only thing that I knew from them was that they are a drone metal band which seemed pretty interesting. I started listening to it and I was pretty intrigued. The first track is quite nice, it's a perfectly fine introduction for an album like this. But then the album just kept going and going and going with no direction whatsoever... During the rest of the album (until the last 5 minutes which are ... read more
WhatTheFunk
73
Sunn O))) have the same concept since 1998. Despite all that the band has now predictable, their merit is that they having invented a musical concept, the drone metal. The two band members, Stephen O'Malley and Greg Anderson, had both a fascinating idea and a deadly boredom. Their first albums are, in my opinion, absolute musical masterpieces and all the rest is deeply boring. What about their new work "Life Metal" ? If you like the big fat dirty sounds of guitars amplified by ... read more
Cosmilk
60
Man Plays 3 Notes On The Guitar Very Slowly, Receives Praise From Critics Everywhere
exception
77
One of their better releases
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Year End Lists

#6/Louder Than War
#10/The Quietus
#10/The Wire
#17/Fopp
#22/Noisey
#26/Drift
#31/Treble
#53/MOJO
#59/Uncut

Track List

  1. Between Sleipnir’s Breaths
  2. Troubled Air
  3. Aurora
  4. Novae
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Added on: February 5, 2019