"Monoliths and Dimensions" marks Sunn O)))'s seventh release in their 10 year run and at this point they don't really need any kind of introduction. You've heard the stories of their live shows. You know these dudes wear black robes in rooms full of fog. You know about the extreme volume and the heavy bass vibrations you feel throughout your body. So, let's just skip all that and get to the point. "Monoliths and Dimensions" is an obvious step forward from the band's previous work. Sunn O)))'s Steven O'Malley and Greg Anderson bring in a entourage of key collaborators this time around, most importantly the help of composer Eyvind Kang who brought in French and English horns, reed and string ensembles, harp and flute duo, piano, brass, and Viennese woman's choir led by Persian vocal savant Jessika Kenney. Other collaborators include the most present inclusion on record of vocalist Attila Csihar, Dylan Carlson from Earth, Oren Ambarchi, and trombonists Julian Priester and Stuart Dempster. With the help of Eyvind Kang this may be one of the biggest Sunn O))) records to date. The work of Kang is most evident on the final track "Alice" where the bass is pushed to the background and the horns and strings come forward. The darkness drifts away and the beauty behind it is revealed in these closing moments. You hear the harps washing back in forth as the strings hover over and the horns take the lead. The second track "Big Church" also features the same big sound from Kang. This time the sound is made full through the help of a soprano and alto choirs as well as lead vocals by Attila Csihar. As the lowly tuned guitars drone the choir brings the downer vibe as if you were just entering the gates of hell. On your way in Csihar is slowly speaking some evil shit, as he does, so slowly that it sounds like throat singing. All the while there are chaotic vocals in the background that seem as if people are speaking in tongues.
The opening track "Aghartha" is pretty much exactly what you would expect the opening track to a Sunn O))) record to sound like, super heavy, and droney. The deep bass set the vibe and then finally about six minutes into the track Csihar comes in with his slow, snake like vocals. It's all pretty hard to make out what he is saying but you know it's probably some total evil shit. You might even be better off not knowing. The third track "Hunting and Gathering" has the same vibe but seems to be even heavier and ends things with straight feedback.
If your into heavy epic jams then this is the record for you. It doesn't get anymore epic than this. Also, if you haven't seen them live yet maybe you should do that first and then by the record cause no matter how great the record is it can't really match the vibe you get live. 8/10 -- Jon Lorenz (4 November, 2009)