Sunn O))) & Ulver – “Terrestrials”


Terrestrials (CD)

Terrestrials - Black Vinyl

Terrestrials - Black Vinyl (LP)



  1. Let There Be Light
  2. Western Horn
  3. Eternal Return

Companies etc…

Recorded At – Crystal Canyon Studios
Mixed At – Crystal Canyon Studios
Mastered At – Orgone Mastering
Manufactured By – Pirates Press
Published By – Ideologic Organ
Published By – ULVER
Published By – Sabbath Rehash


Drums – Tomas Pettersen
Mastered By – Jaime Gomez Arellano
Mixed By – Anders Møller
Performer [Aggregation] – Daniel O'Sullivan
Performer [Aggregation] – Greg Anderson
Performer [Aggregation] – Jørn H. Sværen
Performer [Aggregation] – Tore Ylwizaker
Performer [Aggregation], Producer – Kristoffer Rygg
Performer [Aggregation], Producer, Art Direction – Stephen O'Malley
Photography By [Cover] – Alan Friedman (4)
Trumpet – Stig Espen Hundsnes
Viola, Violin – Kari Rønnekleiv
Viola, Violin – Ole Henrik Moe


Salutations: Percule Poirot, Marius Lerskallen, Alexander Kloster-Jensen, Attila Csihar & Runhild Gammelsæter. Cover: A portrait of our sun, captured in the wavelength of hydrogen alpha light (656.3 nanometers in the deep red) on June 10, 2012. Limited edition of 1000 on white vinyl, 1000 on red vinyl (this entry) and 3000 on black vinyl.

Oslo, Norway, August 10th, 2008. Following their 200th gig, playing before 2000 people at the Øya festival, SUNN O))) teamed up with Norwegian legends ULVER at their Oslo studio, Crystal Canyon. They recorded three "live in improvisation" pieces, starting that evening and ending at dawn, as Northern sunlight seeped in through the windows.

"We were sitting in the console room, early in the morning, listening to the takes. Someone said, 'ah, sunrise over Crystal Canyon,' as if the night had been a dark one. We all laughed and Greg proposed it as a title. In that setting it sounded perfect. The boys had mentioned wanting the music to orient towards the light, like some lost pilgrim stretching before the sun. We kept that mental picture for the processing." – Kristoffer Rygg

That take became the album's opening piece, "Let there be light," which builds up from silence and darkness and proceeds – ceremoniously, coruscating – O'Malley and O'Sullivan creating the backdrop for Rygg's Basso Profondo chants. The music unfolds over eight minutes before reaching a crescendo of bass and brass, introducing both Anderson and ULVER as we know them. The Sunn has risen.

"Western horn" accelerates on a single and austere note of sustained bass and low end, evolving gradually into a haunted soundscape. Crying violins, clusters of Fender Rhodes, guitar pickups, and metal plate drones are gradually layered beneath Anderson's augmented bass feedback.

"Eternal return" introduces Rygg singing a lyric evoking ancient Greece, Egypt and the Biblical lands. The song is palindromic, echoing the lyric, beginning and ending with the same bass line and musical pattern, though the guitars are ultimately reversed as the song implodes upon itself.

"Terrestrials"; is  three movements which are fluid like the flow of magma beneath the Earth's crust, sonically uninhibited, unpredictably cosmic, haunting and stirring yet simultaneously ceremonious and beautiful.