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Scott Walker And Sunn O))): Soused

Irresistible force meets immovable cult icon.

If Hell has its own easy-listening lounge, it might sound a little like this bracingly extreme pan-generational collaboration. Having courted each other for almost a decade, the creative chemistry between 71-year-old cult avant-crooner Walker and LA’s premiere drone-metal noise terrorists works surprisingly well.

Soused features five substantial pieces, most around nine minutes long. Walker deploys his now-standard method of trilling cryptic, disjointed, lengthy screeds of text while Stephen O’Malley and Greg Anderson provide a Wagnerian backdrop of mountainous doom chords, electro-mechanical convulsions and 50 shades of exhilarating sonic torture.

Soused bears only a distant resemblance to Walker’s last release, Bish Bosch from 2012, notably in the vaguely menacing swing-jazz rhythms and blade-sharpening effects that open Fetish. Couched in tolling bells and sinister alien drones, Herod 2014 hums and clangs like a haunted spaceship while Walker twists familiar lines from The Sound Of Music. Finally, Lullaby seems to offer a more restrained kind of gloom before being swallowed by its apocalyptic horror-movie chorus.

Dense and demanding, Soused will not be topping the album charts. But it is the kind of obliteratingly intense, glamorously weird avant-metal epic that Lou Reed and Metallica never made.

Stephen Dalton has been writing about all things rock for more than 30 years, starting in the late Eighties at the New Musical Express (RIP) when it was still an annoyingly pompous analogue weekly paper printed on dead trees and sold in actual physical shops. For the last decade or so he has been a regular contributor to Classic Rock magazine. He has also written about music and film for Uncut, Vox, Prog, The Quietus, Electronic Sound, Rolling Stone, The Times, The London Evening Standard, Wallpaper, The Film Verdict, Sight and Sound, The Hollywood Reporter and others, including some even more disreputable publications.