Sun O)))’s Kannon is a gaze into the void; a terrifying, apocalyptic release so extreme that it virtually rules out any kind of communal listening. This isn’t an album that one can flip on at a party – unless you want your guests to evacuate, that is – or the kind of music that will sit happily in the background. Its brutal, uncompromising nature means that it must be consumed alone, in private, lending the whole release a kind of cathartic isolation.
It is, of course, not for everybody, and those who have a kneejerk reaction against repetition and drone – let alone Gregorian chanting – need not apply. Kannon is made up of a mere three tracks: the longest runs at 12:50, and even the shortest is a hefty nine minutes plus. The tracks take their time to grow, like a spot fire or the inevitable, terrifying rise of a flood.
It is difficult to disseminate individual tracks: the three songs are part of a singular whole, and the fact that they have been stripped of conventional titles (they are, in order: Kannon 1, Kannon 2 and Kannon 3) only serves to further create the sense of cogs in a greater machine.
Feedback whines; melodies take shape and then disintegrate; voices rise in horrifying unity. This is a wicker man of an album, full of a kind of ersatz humanity that hides the grim secret within its sonic folds. Some will hate it. Some will bypass it completely. But for others, it will stick like a curse, gaining a terrible power with every single listen.