Hello out there! In the immortal words of the Barenaked Ladies, it’s been…
Seven days since we got together here, at which time I had shared two albums with you by bands who coincidentally had similar-sounding names, but otherwise had little in common.
Today I’ve got another pair of albums by similarly-named artists, which happened to be released in close proximity to each other — just over and just under a year ago. In this case, while both are still fairly disparate, at least they would both be found somewhere on the doom spectrum… or if nothing else, maybe doom-adjacent? Enjoy!
Sunyata – The Great Beyond (self-released, 11 November 2020)
Sunnata – Burning in Heaven, Melting on Earth (self-released, 26 February 2021)
Sunyata is the output of a single musician — incidentally, the same Englander who also records as Writhe (whom I’ve written about once upon a time), as well as other pseudonymous names. This particular incarnation produces a sort of symphonic funeral doom, which you’ll perhaps find to be more symphonic than funereal.
Late 2020’s The Great Beyond consists of four tracks at exactly ten minutes apiece, bold and epic and apocalyptic-sounding throughout. I recall being impressed at the ability of Writhe to generate such a full and rich atmospheric black metal sound with only a single band member, and that’s absolutely the case with Sunyata as well — even to a greater degree.
The material here is largely orchestral- and choral-based; slow and grandiose as would befit the soundtrack to a cosmic space film or an epic fantasy adventure. The album comes highly recommended for folks who like their classical music punctuated by exciting climactic moments, such as may be found in “Symphony #9 (From the New World)” or “Also Sprach Zarathustra.”
And now heading approximately 1,000 miles due east, Polish quartet Sunnata‘s album Burning in Heaven, Melting on Earth came out about three months later. They call it a thematic exploration of religious fanaticism.
I call it six tracks (forty-five minutes total) that run the gamut between stonery, bluesy, grungy, sludgy; often wavering seamlessly between or skillfully combining several of these. “Shamanic doom” is the genre descriptor most often used for this band, which seems entirely apt: this fourth LP of theirs features plenty of spiritual trippiness, fuzzy droning, a cornucopia full of psychedelic grooves; and occasionally, rather tastefully executed moments of thunderous DOOOOOOM.
Find both albums at the bands’ Bandcamp pages (see below)–
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