Review Summary: Soundtrack for blunt puffing…
From the first listen, you can tell Bong’s music is not for everyone. The repetition that becomes half of their magic can easily turn a vast majority of the listeners’ interest off. You definitely need a certain mood to immerse yourself in their world, still, if you find that sweet spot, there’s a whole journey to discover. All the chants, Eastern elements accompanying the trudging riffs create a mesmerizing atmosphere that stoner doom/psychedelic fans will love most. Featuring the infinite distortion of Sunn O))), heaviness of Electric Wizard and some of the mysticism Om portray around their releases, the Newcastle trio created a niche of their own. Sometimes it clicks (Mana Yood Sushai
, Idle Days On the Yann
or even We Are, We Were and We Will Have Been
), sometimes there was too much weed involved (Stoner Rock
), yet you can’t deny these guys’ devotion to get their point across.
Luckily for us, the latest LP, Thought and Existence
boasts a focused production which brings to the table their strengths. As per usual, there are only two tracks, each exploring its own path. ‘The Golden Fields’ is a brooding monster, starting with some thrilling sound scapes that give way to the slow, fuzz drenched main riff. The pounding drums perform a tom-heavy pattern for minutes on end, whereas the guitar and bass gradually unfold. There’s a progression there, still everything moves at snail’s pace. During the second half of the song, chants play alongside the scorching riffage, crafting this ancient-meets-modern vibe (think of it as Om with guitars). Meanwhile, on the second epic, 'Tlön Uqbar Orbis Tertius', Bong kept things pretty straightforward, looping the same segment. The first 8 minutes or so leave the guitars in front with eerie leads, however, halfway, the beat changes slightly and the bass becomes heavier. The tempo drops with each minute, until feedback finds its way through. It’s a small sonic change, but it does matter in this case. Plus, I have to say I was not bored by all this repetition. Then again, this record is not one you can listen to at any hour of the day. To be honest, it’s better to keep it for when you’re in an altered state, so you can truly enjoy it. Also, blast it really loud, it makes a difference.