Sunn O))) - Kannon
Critic Score
Based on 23 reviews
2015 Ratings: #301 / 913
User Score
Based on 51 ratings
2015 Ratings: #590
December 4, 2015 / Release Date
LP / Format
Southern Lord / Label
Drone Metal / Genres
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A.V. Club
This is the soundtrack to the decline of our species, once again illustrating that Sunn O))) is one of the most interesting and progressive groups in heavy music.
Loud and Quiet
For a group who have perfected the art of extracting as much from a single musical note as is humanly possible, it’s startling to hear how much breadth for evolution and continued experimentation Sunn O))) have left themselves with to play with.
Consequence of Sound

At a mere 35 minutes, Kannon is a fleeting journey. But in that allotted time, Sunn do what they do best, crafting an inescapable atmosphere of flowing drone metal, and as a whole, it’s arguably their best composition to date.

The Line of Best Fit

Kannon certainly won’t be delivering any Christmas number ones, but what Sunn O))) have managed to deliver is an exhilarating, colon-shaking song cycle of pitch black metal that will perfectly complement those approaching January blues.

Under The Radar
It's the sound of a band at once distilled to its essence and at the height of its powers.
Drowned in Sound
If it's a back-to-basics move by the duo, it follows their furthest-reaching foray into pastures of acceptable extremity.
Ideally, one might lock themselves away with this for half a day or more, bathing in the wisdom and mystery that the music provides.
The Guardian

It’s a daunting 30 minutes of music, but there’s something surprisingly calming about Kannon, something that hints at the hidden depths beneath Sunn O)))’s cloak-and-dagger routine.


On Kannon, Sunn O))) illustrates through heavy sonic immersion that noise and silence are equals -- aspects of circular, self-perpetuating emptiness. Like the persona of the deity, they generously receive and contain all the sounds of the world in all their dimensions of darkness and light.


Its concise nature, glossy finish and sense of clarity suggest that, as strange as it might seem, this is not a return to Sunn O)))’s metal roots, but is instead, for all intents and purposes, their pop album.


Kannon is Sunn O)))'s most sparse offering in years, but the experiment in meditative metal minimalism is more than capable of shooting listeners towards a higher plane of consciousness.

Slant Magazine

Kannon is a one-trick pony, but the trick is a pretty good one.


Even as they add unimaginable depths to a deceptively simple form, Kannon reasserts their commitment to merely existing, unapologetically out of genre and out of time.

It is typically loud. It is often pretty. It is, cumulatively, the first minor full-length studio album of Sunn O)))'s career.
Ultimately, this is tinkering around the edges of a formula rather than a bold stylistic shift – and while this makes ‘Kannon’ an easy disc to recommend to newcomers, ultimately it goes nowhere SunnO))) haven’t gone before.
Tiny Mix Tapes

Much of Kannon feels like a retreat into their roots as beatless doom metal riffers, despite its stronger and more profound conceptual backing.

The drone metal titans return with their most stripped-down and minimalistic album so far. Kannon is a massive-sounding collection of songs that shows the band in their most subtle moments to date, even though these three tracks are pretty long and incredibly loud, as if Sunn's guitar notes come right from the depths of an abyss, shaping into obscure clouds in the underworld's sky. It is undeniable, though, that the band's impressive back catalogue impressed much more, by their sharp sense of ... read more
I love the concept- a massive statement about Guan Yin, the Bodhisattva of compassion. Taking her gentle form, and warping it to represent something blistering and evil. But it’s in the execution where Sunn O))) really falters here. The set of drones just aren’t substantive enough to make Kannon shine among their amazing catalogue.
Being a newcomer to Sunn O))), I didn't really know what to expect. I hadn't ever listened to the band, but they were suggested to me by a close friend so I picked up the CD and gave it a spin. I've never really experienced anything like this before. The music's weight was palpable. Every time I listen to the sounds the band creates, everything seems to get more grim. The atmosphere around me seems to become bleak and desolate. I'm once again floored at how strongly certain music can affect the ... read more
It could have been more.
Unfortunately pretty darn forgettable. Still Sunn O))), so not bad. But underwhelming, considering what they can do.
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Year End Lists

#19/The Quietus

Track List

  1. Kannon 1
  2. Kannon 2
  3. Kannon 3
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Added on: September 30, 2015