Review Summary: Don't fear the Ripper.
An album with two tracks that round 20 minute each is meant to be imposing, challenging, and basically like a rite of passage for those looking for a state of mind beyond the ephemeral nature of media consuming in the modern age. It’s almost insulting the way we devour arts today, we skip through the stream with blinding rush, chasing the promise of the next big thing instead of savoring what is actually happening right here, right now.
Well, the thing is you can’t skip *** in Terminal
, there is no way around it. Bongripper’s sixth album is as massive as any of its predecessors but, in a way, it does feel more welcoming. The steep hour long of previous statements like Satan Worshipping Doom
, which the band still plays live in its integrity, or Hippie Killer
have been fat-cut to 40 minutes in which Bongripper, not only delivers a masterful lesson on heaviness, but they also show a surprising progress in finding balance and restraint in their craftsmanship. “Slow” opens up with ominous synths and guitar feedback in preparation for the storm of sound that is about to happen. It only takes one minute for the first assault to hit, and it feels wonderfully heavy. Endure ten more minutes and you will find yourself floating in a post rock ocean of reverberant guitars and crawling tempos, feeling blessed and rewarded but slowly being pulled to the next hammering session before spewing an orgasmic ambient passage of guitar ecstasy. The second half, rightfully named “Death” is, on the other hand, pure mechanical evil. The drums crush and pave the way in a dynamic that showcases how unified and compact is the sound of Bongripper. It takes a few minutes to enter in the sludge trance of this colossal tune, but once on the other side of the threshold, you can’t help to feel a creeping craving for more and more thunder.
feels like a gravitational punch in the head but it also sounds really clear and polished thanks to the production job by the band’s guitarist, Dennis Pleckham, who mixed, mastered and cooked himself the whole thing at his Comatose Studios in Illinois. The sixth album of this instrumental four piece from Chicago sits high on the throne with other weed-fuelled heavyweights this year like Sleep’s The Sciences
, finding equilibrium like an enlightened acolyte of the ponderous arts in one of their most accessible yet brilliant releases up to date.