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Bong - Thought And Existence review




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Reviewer:
N/A

11 users:
7.45
Band: Bong
Album: Thought And Existence
Release date: May 2018


01. The Golden Fields
02. Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius


For the first time in their history, Bong took three years to make a new album. And, boy, what an improvement in every field, with lush instrumentation, a blend of new influences, riffs galore and even blast beats and a Migos feature. Or nah, it's just a good old shamanic transcendent Bong album.

Bong did indeed take quite a long time to come out with this record considering that they released eight albums in the last ten years. So likely, the existence of this album has been given a lot of thought, right? Well, Thought And Existence isn't much different from the previous few Bong albums, being still comprised of two songs, but staying more on the "shorter" side, compared to the megalithic Stoner Rock in which each of the two tracks were about as long as Thought And Existence in its entirety.

For those familiar with Bong, they'll likely be happy to get some 35 minutes more of meditative shamanic drone doom, they may still long for the sitar days, but they likely got over that. For those unfamiliar with Bong, just be warned that this is a brand of doom that really requires your patience, much more so than even funeral doom. There is no instant gratification and the listener has to let himself be immersed. Bong is music that moves at a glacially slow pace, usually built upon a single monolithic riff drowned in distortion, whose repetition coupled with the percussion creates a droning psychedelic ritualistic feel. And it is heavy enough to level the terrain. Think of it as the offspring of Dopesmoker. Despite of how short it is, the pace of the album makes it feel like hours have passed, thus it can be used as a sort of time machine.

There are two tracks on this album, both around the same length, but "Tlön Uqbar Orbis Tertius" has a significantly lighter and laid-back and perhaps even more upbeat vibe than "The Golden Fields". The album's opener starts a bit more ambient, before a voice narrates a quote from Fyodor Dostoyevsky's The Dream Of A Ridiculous Man which reads "It happened as it always does in dreams when skip over space and time and the laws of thought and existence and only pause upon the points on which the heart years", which seems to be the thematic focus of the album. As David Terry said about the inspiration behind the album, "Some memories are so intense that they remind us that we occupy unalterable moments in time… The past still exists, and this album is a tribute to those moments". "The Golden Fields" does get a bit more of a stoner doom feel later in the song, becoming much more expansive as even ritualistic chanting to add the cherry to the top of the hypnotic experience before giving way to "Tlön Uqbar Orbis Tertius".

While it wouldn't be hard to criticize Bong for not changing their formula and for being way too repetitive, at this point at least their album-releasing pace is a bit more relaxed. Old fans will be pleased and newcomers will either find it impenetrably boring or life-altering.

The ritual shall commence


 



Written on 06.05.2018 by My opinion is objective, sorry if you don't agree, but you're wrong.


Comments

Comments: 7   Visited by: 98 users
06.05.2018 - 21:36
Apothecary
PsyCHEdelic
Great album and review. I actually disagree though that they haven't changed their formula, on the last album they really started adding more percussion and making the vocal role a bit more pronounced and extended as well. That new angle seems to more or less continue here and honestly I do prefer it to the more formless vibe of earlier. It kinda makes them sound a bit more like DBR, but not too much so, and it provides a bit of a better sense of direction to the music. Plus Dave Terry really is a great vocalist for this style.
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This is the water, and this is the well
Drink full and descend
The horse is the white of the eyes, and dark within
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06.05.2018 - 21:45
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
Written by Apothecary on 06.05.2018 at 21:36

Great album and review. I actually disagree though that they haven't changed their formula, on the last album they really started adding more percussion and making the vocal role a bit more pronounced and extended as well. That new angle seems to more or less continue here and honestly I do prefer it to the more formless vibe of earlier. It kinda makes them sound a bit more like DBR, but not too much so, and it provides a bit of a better sense of direction to the music. Plus Dave Terry really is a great vocalist for this style.

Maybe I haven't listened to their back catalog enough times, since this is the only Bong album I ever listened to more that once. I did notice that the first track is a lot more focused on vocals and percussion and I did skim through earlier releases but it didn't feel like there was a lack of these. Also it's weird how both ms and ma say that the sitar guy is still in the band even though there hasn't been any sitar in their music for a while and in the recent interview I read, they're supposedly a trio
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Is it future of is it past?
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06.05.2018 - 22:02
Apothecary
PsyCHEdelic
Written by RaduP on 06.05.2018 at 21:45

Maybe I haven't listened to their back catalog enough times, since this is the only Bong album I ever listened to more that once. I did notice that the first track is a lot more focused on vocals and percussion and I did skim through earlier releases but it didn't feel like there was a lack of these. Also it's weird how both ms and ma say that the sitar guy is still in the band even though there hasn't been any sitar in their music for a while and in the recent interview I read, they're supposedly a trio

It started with the last album really, the heavier vocal and percussive presence, I noticed the difference on this track as soon as I heard it. Before vocals were there but more minimally used, and percussion was hardly a factor at all.

Also you're thinking of Benjamin Freeth on sitar, and I dunno what's up with him either. Pretty sure there was some sitar on the last album but I don't hear any on this one. He was with em when I saw them at Roadburn, but... 4 years ago, of course. Strange.
----
This is the water, and this is the well
Drink full and descend
The horse is the white of the eyes, and dark within
Loading...
09.05.2018 - 15:29
LuciferOfGayness
MS necromancer
Nice review again. I like that you added some background.

You should have given it a score though, now it follows a sad tradition on MS where drone albums have very few votes.
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09.05.2018 - 15:40
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
Written by LuciferOfGayness on 09.05.2018 at 15:29

Nice review again. I like that you added some background.

You should have given it a score though, now it follows a sad tradition on MS where drone albums have very few votes.

It felt really weird giving this a score, maybe I shouldve
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Is it future of is it past?
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09.05.2018 - 15:43
LuciferOfGayness
MS necromancer
Written by RaduP on 09.05.2018 at 15:40

Written by LuciferOfGayness on 09.05.2018 at 15:29

Nice review again. I like that you added some background.

You should have given it a score though, now it follows a sad tradition on MS where drone albums have very few votes.

It felt really weird giving this a score, maybe I shouldve

7-8 for me, theres better drone but I appreciate what Bong are doing.
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09.05.2018 - 16:34
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
Written by LuciferOfGayness on 09.05.2018 at 15:43

7-8 for me, theres better drone but I appreciate what Bong are doing.

I'd probably wind up giving it a 7.5 too, but I really gotta get my ratings in check, since most of the stuff I reviewed I rated somewhere between 8.2 and 8.6
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Is it future of is it past?
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