Much like their Southern Lord labelmates Khanate Sunn O))) represent a newer breed of doom/drone metal bands. Although not nearly as noisy/confrontional as Khanate, they’re still oppressively heavy and much of their musical foundation is based on work of bands like Earth (early on, they were also called Mars, which was a tribute to Earth).
Band consists of Stephen O’Malley (Khanate, Burning Witch) and Greg Anderson (Goatsnake) who met in Seattle in 1991. However, their first record didn’t materialze until 1998 – “Grimmrobe Demos” originally came out on Aaron Turner (Isis) label Hydra Head Records and contained a track titled “Dylan Carlson”, named after Earth frontman. Initially, it came out as a limited edition release, but was since reissued by Southern Lord and Japanese label Daymare Recordings. In 2008, the band announced that they will do a tour commerating a 10th anniversary of the record.
Their second album was ØØ Void featured better production than Grimmrobe Demos and it was also their first album to utilize samples. It contained a cover of “Hung Bunny” – Melvins song from the album “Lysol” – here retitled “Bunny’s Revenge”. Daymare Recordings reissued album as a double-disc set, with first disc containing the original album and the second disc (The Iron Soul Of Nothing) featuring a collaboration between Sunn O))) and Nurse With Wound.
2002 “Flight Of The Behemoth” featured a collaboration with noise guru Merzbow and also featured curiously titled “FWTBT” – a cover of Metallica’s “For Whom The Bell Tolls” and the full song title was “F.W.T.B.T. (I Dream Of Lars Ulrich Being Thrown Through The Bus Window Instead Of My Mystikal Master Kliff Burton),” a reference to original Metallica’s bassist.
Further years brought 2003 “White1”, 2004 “White2” and 2005 “Black One”. However, according to a band themselves, “Black One” was not a continuation of previous albums and there will be no sequel for this one. All of them featured many guests, including members of black metal bands Xasthur and Leviathan, as well as members of Thor’s Hammer, Julian Cope and Attila Csihar from Mayhem.
In 2008, the band released “Demkirke” – a live album recorded in a cathedral in Bergen, Norway. Unlike previous albums, it came out only on vinyl and will not be reissued in other formats. It also featured a huge number of guests, including Attila Csihar (Mayhem) and Lasse Marhaug.
For 2009, the band is planning a number of releases – a full-length entitled “Dimensions” and a 10″ picture disc, a collaboration with Finland’s Pan Sonic/cover of Suicide’s classic “Che”. 2009 will also bring “Clean Hands Go Foul” – final album by Khanate.