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Bong - Stoner Rock
3 March 2014


01. Polaris
02. Out Of The Aeons


Heavy metal is a strange genre of music. As any devout fan could probably tell you, it's certainly a lot more diverse than the common layperson would be likely to believe, with bands that borrow influences from virtually any other genre you could imagine: Southern rock, electronic jazz, you name it. The Brits in Bong have come to follow along this line of thought quite well in recent years, crafting albums that have made people question what exactly metal is in its current incarnation. Stoner Rock, the group's 2014 effort, is certainly no exception.

If you're familiar with the sound of Bong by now, you'll know what to expect. Nothing about the band's formula is new on Stoner Rock, but in a way it really doesn't need to be, as a change would only be likely to undermine their established identity at this point. So once again, we're taken on a trancelike voyage through sonic soundscapes, with no real concept of melody or structure, just the monotonous droning of guitar and bass, and the ever-dreamy sitar work of Benjamin Freeth. The music is, as usual, mostly instrumental, but the vocals of Dave Terry do sneak in here and there, seemingly always at the right time. When the "I have failed in my duties…" pops in around the 7 minute mark on the massive opening track, the vibe created is nothing short of otherwordly.

To listeners first encountering the band, this repetitive delivery may come across as boring, but (as usual) Bong somehow make it work towards channeling a sort of ancient, ancestral type of vibe. In the more tribal-based eras of times bygone, when you had shamans and other spiritual leaders guiding their villages towards higher consciousness, music would typically accompany their rituals, at a steady, monotonous rhythm that, in some way or another, helped them plunge into their zones. Bong seem to exemplify this idea, and the music of Stoner Rock certainly "takes you places."

The title of Bong's recent album may strike some as ironic, as the music here has nothing whatsoever to do with stoner rock. But, as one of our more popular users previously suggested, this album actually bears a lot more resemblance to what would be thought of as a "stoner" type vibe than most stoner rock and metal might. It's transcendent and relaxing, the ideal music for a smoke session, and at plenty of points throughout it the mood created makes you feel not like you're not necessarily listening to a British drone four-piece, but to the trippy soundtrack to some sort of Vedic soma ritual. If this was the intention of Bong with this release, I'd say Timothy Leary would be proud.


 



Written on 28.04.2014 by
Apothecary
"Without tradition, art is a flock of sheep without a master. But without innovation, it is a corpse."
-Winston Churchill
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!J.O.O.E.! - 28.04.2014 at 21:55  
I suppose I should be thankful you didn't write it as "popular"
Alex Fenger - 28.04.2014 at 21:56  
Pretty much an accurate review. Nothing new here (at least in terms of Bong's sound), but I still enjoy it quite a bit.
Apothecary - 28.04.2014 at 21:59  
Written by Alex Fenger on 28.04.2014 at 21:56

Nothing new here (at least in terms of Bong's sound), but I still enjoy it quite a bit.

Yeah, I really don't care whether they're repeating themselves or not at this point, I can't get enough. Meditating to their set at Roadburn was really something.
Apothecary - 28.04.2014 at 22:01  
Written by !J.O.O.E.! on 28.04.2014 at 21:55

I suppose I should be thankful you didn't write it as "popular"

You might owe me an ale if I ever visit you for this favor
!J.O.O.E.! - 28.04.2014 at 22:02  
Written by Apothecary on 28.04.2014 at 22:01

You might owe me an ale if I ever visit you for this favor

I know a good place with some very expensive but totally worth the price ales so you may hold me to that =3
Apothecary - 29.04.2014 at 02:40  
Written by !J.O.O.E.! on 28.04.2014 at 22:02

I know a good place with some very expensive but totally worth the price ales so you may hold me to that =3

Well I know there are some good fests in the UK, so who knows? I may journey over to harass you someday as I did Marcel

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