From the windswept megalithic hills of the Northeast comes the new monstrous studio release by drug-sworn pentagram worshipping Bong. This has been a long time in coming, multiple live releases have emerged from this band but it’s been a while since a studio album was made. We may have waited for too long but it’s been worth every torturous second.
We find the Bong dudes on a journey to the outer limits of space, 3-2-1… but this lift off is slow, slower than an opium snail making its way to get some green, this is a sonic exploration. You may want to equate this band to other drone bands but that is to totally underestimate the majesty of the acid 60’s vibe they have captured on this recording. If you collectively placed the West Coast psych movement in a room, pumped their veins full of opiates then asked them to record, this is what would have probably been created. The slow motion lethargic examination of the existential is only made greater by the resplendent sitar crowning the underworld swathe of rhythm and darkness. Harnessing the spirits of diabolical glory, the monk chanting, the My Bloody Valentine guitars, the steady monolithic drumming draws forth an incantation to the darkness and into the depths we merrily descend. This is truly monstrous and absolutely captivating. Sunn maybe the benchmark for bands who want to out do their peers in volume and tone, but we now have our own homebrewed coven of misfits tearing down the robes, blowing out the candles and committing ever greater blasphemies. Entrench your soul, dismiss self-enlightenment and sacrifice yourself to the embracing blackness that is Bong.
Track 2 ‘Across the Timestream’ starts with a dirtier vibe, not even sure how you make a guitar sound that filthy, black metal bands take note. Torn from the rafters of the first track ‘Onward to Perdóndaris’, the band swell in attitude making this sound like their version of Hamburger Lady. The soundscape paints a picture of absolute desolation, where human life has long since left the earth realm. Pitch black pierces the grey, the sullen world, destroyed, raped of dignity, deprived of love, wallowing in an endless decay; words to evoke the bleak portrayal of creative abandonment. Dirt pierces the eyes, the skin, grit gets into the mouth, each bite brings forth sadistic dirt ridden imaginations rendering the reviewer cognitively disabled and overawed. “What is this that stands before me? Figure in black points at me… I AM BONG!!!!
Bereft of desire, the 3rd track ‘In The Shadow Of The Tower’ takes us on a sullen journey into the netherworld. Swamped, ditched and dug into the pit of endless solitude this commands further introspection. Look inwards, not outwards, find the silence where revelling in the arte of enduring pain leads to greater mystical fulfilment. The track ahead is long and narrow and only this song can steer the seeker, for before us, rest shadows of cold forlorn mountains that peak and trough through a psychedelic haze of colour. Obliteration is the key to our future existence, this is what the sage of Bong orates, bow to the priest, bow to the Bong for this a masterpiece.
Scribed by: Pete Hamilton-Giles