Altar (album)


Studio album by
ReleasedOctober 31, 2006
GenreDrone metal, experimental
81:56 (with Disc Two)
LabelSouthern Lord
Inoxia Records
Daymare Records
ProducerSunn O)))
Sunn O))) chronology
Black One
Boris chronology
Japanese Version Cover
Inoxia Records version cover
Inoxia Records version cover
Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic link
Sonic Frontiers(6.5/10) 2006
Pitchfork Media(6.6/10) [1]

Altar is a collaboration album between experimental music groups Boris and Sunn O))), released on October 31, 2006 through Southern Lord Records (SUNN62). A limited two-CD edition was released on October 23 via Southern Lord with a 28-minute bonus track with Sunn O))), Boris, and Dylan Carlson, titled "Her Lips Were Wet with Venom". Inoxia Records released their own two-CD version in 2006 which features a bonus track on the first disc, "The Sinking Belle (Black Sheep)", and also features "Her Lips Were Wet with Venom" on disc 2. The triple-vinyl edition by Southern Lord contains all of the songs from their two-CD edition, additional pictures, and liner notes by Kim Thayil. The Daymare 3LP version was released March 23, 2007 and features a bonus track not found on any other version of this release: "The Sinking Belle (White Sheep)".

In addition to major players Sunn O))) and Boris, Altar also boasts an extensive roster of guest musicians/collaborators such as Kim Thayil (Soundgarden), Joe Preston (Earth, Thrones, Melvins, High on Fire), Phil Wandscher and Jesse Sykes (both of Jesse Sykes and the Sweet Hereafter) as well as long time Sunn O))) collaborators TOS Niewenhuizen and Rex Ritter.

On December 10, 2007, the bands collaborated at the Forum in London along with a number of the guests featured on Altar for a live performance.[1] A 3LP picture disc version of the album, limited to 500 copies, was sold exclusively at this London show.[2]

Track listing

Disc One

  1. "Etna" – 9:51
    • Greg Anderson: guitar
    • Atsuo: drums
    • Stephen O'Malley: guitar
    • Takeshi: guitar & bass
    • Wata: lead guitar
  2. "N.L.T." – 3:49
  3. "The Sinking Belle (Blue Sheep)" – 7:37
  4. "Akuma no Kuma" – 7:52
  5. "Fried Eagle Mind" – 9:47
    • Wata: vocals & space guitar
    • Stephen O'Malley: clandestine guitar, califone
    • Takeshi: bottle lead guitar
    • Greg Anderson: bass guitar
    • TOS Nieuwenhuizen: Moog Taurus
    • Troy Swanson: oberheim 4 voice
    • Randall Dunn: Korg MS-20 & natural trouble
  6. "The Sinking Belle (Black Sheep)" - 5:05 (Japanese CD bonus track)
    • Wata: space echo guitar
    • Eyvind Kang: viola, violin
    • TOS Nieuwenhuizen: Moog Taurus
    • Randall Dunn: Korg MS-20
  7. "The Sinking Belle (White Sheep)" - 4:36 (Japanese 3LP bonus track)
    • Takeshi: guitar
    • Wata: guitar, space echo
    • Stephen O'Malley: piano
    • Greg Anderson: bass
    • Atsuo: traps
    • Eyvind Kang: viola, violin
    • Tos Nieuwenhuizen: moog taurus
    • Randall Dunn: korg MS-20
  8. "Blood Swamp" – 14:46
    • Atsuo: gong
    • Greg Anderson: guitar
    • Stephen O'Malley: guitar
    • Wata: guitar
    • Takeshi: guitar & bass
    • Kim Thayil: guitar
    • Rex Ritter: Moog Taurus
    • TOS Nieuwenhuizen: Moog Rogue

Disc Two

  1. "Her Lips Were Wet With Venom" – 28:14


  • Produced By Sunn O)))
  • Recorded, Engineered & Mixed By Randall Dunn
  • Mastered By Mell Dettmer

Pressing History

Year Label Format Country Out of Print? Notes
2006 Southern Lord CD U.S. No
2006 Southern Lord 2CD U.S. Yes Ltd. 5000. Includes bonus track "Her Lips Were Wet with Venom"
2006 Inoxia Records 2CD Japan Yes Ltd. 1000. Includes bonus tracks "The Sinking Belle (Black Sheep)" and "Her Lips Were Wet with Venom"
2006 Southern Lord 3LP U.S. Yes Ltd. 10,600. Includes bonus track, "Her Lips Were Wet with Venom"
2007 Inoxia Records 3LP Japan Yes Ltd. 1000. Includes bonus tracks "The Sinking Belle (White Sheep)" and "Her Lips Were Wet with Venom"
2007 Southern Lord 3LP Pic Disc U.S. Yes Ltd 500. Originally sold at London performance on December 10, 2007

Notes and references

  1. ^ Pitchfork Media
  2. ^ Southern Lord Records » sunn O))), Boris, Earth **ALTAR** performance London, Forum 12/10/2007