Review Summary: Sludge, gorilla style worship.
Ultimately, this Swedish sludge/ doom act are not anything spectacular but, for the most part they do hold their own, relying on some traditional values to get across the line. Sole Creation
is the band’s third record and whilst the music hasn’t seen a drastic change it has improved, bit-by-bit to showcase some consistently steady sludgy doom. First impressions mean a lot for this particular group. Take the album art for example: a giant gorilla dominates the image, shrouded by a full moon. The image is dark with little to no colour, but not at all complex. Not only does the dark imagery put the message across, it also ties in well with the contextual and instrumental sections of Sole Creation
. For the most part the sound is thick, hairy, often laced with feedback and drawn out riff patterns. Kongh, it seems are going for a sound that is massive in design and gargantuan in nature, no frills sludge. Aided by the (slightly murky, definitely not million dollar) production, Kongh manages to combine the usual sludge aesthetics with the occasional Black Sabbath worship and whilst the comparison may just stretch the idealisms of the listener, Kongh has brought together a bit of this and that to create an album that’s heavy, sinister and strong like the gorilla on the album’s cover. Combining the album image with the music pays off in this regard. With just four tracks with an average run time of just over eleven minutes, and an overall runtime of forty-five minutes, Sole Creation
comes and goes at a respectable pace, making sure the album is not drawn out without becoming tiring. Having track times like this work well for the band allowing the sludge to ‘shine’ through.
At times, similarities arise to acts like Mastodon and Isis, and not without reason, they come with the stereotypes of the genre. Thankfully though, Kongh are far from simply emulating others. That’s not to say that this act is a completely revolutionary, unique showstopper, it’s just more to the fact that they are willing to do their own thing, adding small amounts of stoner influence, and psychedelic without conforming to clone some of the better known soundscapes. Influences and similarities aside, Sole Creation
is an even paced album, almost black and white in nature. There is a simplicity here that highlights the band’s song writing. Opening the album is the title track, a tribal-ish build into a crescendo of riffs and pounding, fuzzy drum lines layered over various intoxicating amounts of feedback and intertwining melody lines. Right from the get-go, it’s clear that Kongh are making a statement with their 2013 release. Throughout the length of the record, the music runs largely along this design and after a while the record starts to feel a little formulaic, even with the track lengths.
revels in the fact that everything is simple, making the most of a slow to mid tempo, plodding the album along its course. As time goes by Kongh, are showing the music is improving steadily, ticking all the right boxes as the gears slip into place. Keep in mind there’s always room for the band’s development, but for now Kongh have found a solid place in the sludge/doom genre. What shows the most on Sole Creation
is the group’s tendency to back the artistic imagery the artwork portrays. Tying one in with the other helps engage the listener, promoting the instrumental aspect, especially through this slightly raw production. Overall, this Swedish three-piece have prominently shown their talents in crafting simple songs and making them sound like so much more. Giving life to both music and art, Sole Creation
is a four-tracked journey that doesn’t lose focus or become tiring. Give it a go, you may just fall in love with a gorilla.