Review: Bogwife ‘Halls Of Rebirth’

Denmark’s Bogwife might have been called Mosekonen if they had opted not to translate their moniker into English from the Scandinavian folklore character they’re named after. I don’t blame them for doing so though because Bogwife is a cracking band name. I asked my partner, who is Swedish, about the Mosekonen, and she explained that it’s a giant troll-like monster who creates the thick fog that often appears in southern Scandinavia. There is a saying that when the fog starts to descend then ‘the Bogwife is brewing’. It’s a name that partly makes sense for this band because their sound is a thick and soupy concoction; but thematically they go for a more cosmic vibe, and they do it exceptionally well.

Bogwife ‘Halls Of Rebirth’

Bogwife remind me somewhat of established bands like Acid King and newer bands like Spaceslug, because they sit on that thin line between stoner rock and stoner doom. Their tone is certainly heavy and fuzzy enough to be classed as doom, but their bluesy riffs and soaring vocals ease the sorrowful feelings of doom into something more uplifting and soulful. The production and mixing on this record is absolutely faultless, I really couldn’t find any moments where it could be better. Every instrument sounds rich and full, and there is a nice evenness in the tone between clarity and filth.

Album opener Voidcruiser is a groovy piece of stoner rock, the lyrics telling the story of a human destined to travel endlessly across the cosmos. The band take you on this journey with some breathtaking riffs, addictive guitar licks and a magnificent vocal performance. They soak it all in phaser when things break down into a softer verse, before quickly going back full-throttle to the end. It’s a great way to open the record, and it’s a nice surprise when the following track Guidance begins with a bit more melancholy; a more sombre affair overall, but it still retains the kind of colossal life-affirming groove that defines Bogwife‘s sound.

Bogwife manage to deliver a perfect equilibrium of groove, atmosphere, tone and, most importantly, quality song-writing…

On both Seer and Orbit the band move superbly from slow and funky space jams to mountainously heavy riffs that just make you want to close your eyes, throw your hands to the sky and bang your head in unison with the beat. The album closer ‘Abyss’ goes into full-on fuzz pedal brutality. The riffs just seem to get heavier and heavier as it goes on, and by the end, the track has transformed into a slow and lamenting number that completely consumes every aural expansion of your brain. It’s quite magnificent and only let down by a quick-cut finish. I personally prefer songs like this to end with a good amount of droning guitars left to ring out into feedback, but that’s just my taste.

This is genuinely one of the best stoner records I have heard in a while. Bogwife manage to deliver a perfect equilibrium of groove, atmosphere, tone and, most importantly, quality song-writing. Every tune is full of hooks and catchy melodies, and when you combine that with a sound that’s both expansive and dense, you get one hell of an album. The Bogwife is brewing something, and what she’s brewing is utterly delicious!

Label: Psychedelic Salad Records
Band Links: Facebook | Bandcamp | Instagram

Scribed by: Will J