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Hear experimental noise gods Sunn O))) playing Pyroclasts F with Anna von Hausswolff

Sun O)))
(Image credit: Sunn O))) / Ronald Dick)

Sunn O))) are gearing up to release their new live album on Southern Lord at the end of the month and you can check out the awe-inspiring opener Pyroclasts F below. 

Dubbed Metta, Benevolence. BBC 6Music: Live on the Invitation of Mary Anne Hobbs, it documents a session the band recorded in London in October 2019, amid their UK tour.

At the time the legendary Seattle group were being supported by Swedish songwriter and composer Anna von Hausswolff, who contributed synths and vocals to the session.

The occasion had some special meaning to the band, taking place in the BBC’s Maida Vale studio, which played host to so many John Peel sessions. 

Peel was a BBC DJ and one of the UK’s foremost champions of experimental musicians. Sunn O))) were reportedly booked in for a Peel session shortly before his death in 2004 and Hobbs – similarly open-minded in her musical devotions – is in many ways the spiritual inheritor of Peel’s crown.

The Metta, Benevolence... session featured three tracks: Pyroclasts F, Pyroclasts C# and Troubled Air, which drew on and expanded songs and themes from their 2019 records Life Metal and the largely improvised Pyroclasts. However, the tracks had taken on new life after months on the road, growing into the expansive new forms, documented here.

Metta, Benevolence. BBC 6Music: Live on the Invitation of Mary Anne Hobbs is released November 29. For more information on the album, head to the Southern Lord site.

Matt Parker

Matt is a freelance journalist who has spent the last decade interviewing musicians for the likes of Total Guitar, Guitarist, Guitar World, MusicRadar, NME.com, DJ Mag and Electronic Sound. In 2020, he launched CreativeMoney.co.uk, which aims to share the ideas that make creative lifestyles more sustainable. He plays guitar, but should not be allowed near your delay pedals.