Tuesday 23 April 2013

Bong - S/T ('Kin Hell Fest 2 countdown)

This is the second of my 'Kin Hell Fest 2 countdown reviews and features Newcastle's doom/stoner heavyweights Bong. This is actually a reissue of their 2009 self titled record, which features an extra track. It was released by Ritual Productions not long after the release of Mana - Yood - Sushai. Bong are bound to provide one of the most tripped out sets of the weekend but if you're unfamiliar with the band, this should help you out.


1. Wizards of Krull
2. The Starlit Grotto
3. Asleep

Anybody who's witnessed or heard Bong before will know that they don't do things quickly. Their songs are mighty leviathans of doom and they don't care for hipsters or posers.

Wizards of Krull presents the same droned out fuzz that was present on Mana - Yood - Sushai. The same goes for the chanting vocals. When I hear Bong I always think that they're trying to conjure some hideous headless beast, such is the other-worldliness of their music. It's mainly instrumental and sometime atonal. You don't get major crescendos or breakdowns, just simple, subtly paced dirges that would send you into a trance. You're briefly snapped out of your trance though by some killer leads that sound like they're being played on traditional South American instruments, let alone guitars.

Alongside Wizards of Krull, The Starlit Grotto was the other original track, when their self-titled album was released. As it builds up very slowly, you get the hint of Eastern influences in the guitar. This song is much more experimental and with a playing time of over twenty five minutes, is also a lot slower in it's delivery. The spoken word passages are equally as harrowing as the chanting vocals that appeared in the opening track, only sparser in their use. The noise level begins to pick up after that elusive spoken word passage. The droning becomes more apparent and the drums start to hammer out a slow beat. Their use of bass becomes more apparent as well, adding a heft to the song, which you may have previously missed due to being under Bong's spell. I really like the guitar playing. It's acoustic and it just really mystical.

The bonus track on this reissue is Asleep. Bong are able to make all three songs on this record sound subtly different while not changing their blueprint too much. Asleep features a low-end guitar driven underbelly, while maintaining that Eastern influence they've made their own. Granted, it requires you as a listener to invest a lot of time in it, as it's not a quick fix but the music contained here is wholly original and befitting of our island nation. Those chants transport you back to medieval times and druidical sermons in a subconscious way, however you're also touched by psychedelia, which occasionally springs out of nowhere.

This is a twisting, turning album that will tear you apart and allow you seek solace both at the same time.

As with a lot of Bong's releases, this is not streaming on the Internet but they do have a bandcamp page, with other recordings on here http://bong.bandcamp.com/.

You can pick this reissued CD from Ritual Productions at http://www.ritualproductions.net/ 

Bong play 'Kin Hell Fest on the 28th of April.

No comments:

Post a Comment