Saturday, 15 August 2015

Bong - ’We Are, We Were And We Will Have Been’ (Album Review)

By: Joosep Nilk

Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 26/05/2015
Label: Ritual Productions



In the form of their seventh full-length, Bong are offering an alluring amalgam where they’ve shedded their usual abysmal heaviness in exchange for a slightly more mild, yet still fathomless venture into unscathed spheres.

’We Are, We Were And We Will Have Been’ CD//DD//LP track listing:

1). Time Regained
2). Find  Your Own Gods

The Review:

Having previous released six full-length releases where the average track’s running-time I would assume falls somewhere in the 15 minute-range, Bong are obviously not seeking to win general acclamation. They seem to reside in an untouched mythical land of their own where patience and attentiveness have yet to be rendered lost arts. If allowed a simile, Bong’s craft might be called a rift, and a massive one at that, opening to something otherworldy and casting light on what was previously not evident, to be allowed a look into something larger than itself. They are true masters of aural weaving and once you sit down amidst their all-encompassing tone it’s difficult to not feel soothed by it.

A shared title of both a Proust novel and the opener of Bong’s seventh outing, with ’Time Regained’ Bong waste none and immediately set down the drone, which is no less than tremendous. Building onto the ominious eruption and setting into a measured drumming pattern, it steadily builds towards the towering proclamation that you’ll meet amidst the hum, as the voice declares We are giants in time’. None of it is to terrorize or intimidate but to simply lay claim to the separate paradigm of which they are indisputable kings. Meditative, propulsive drone through not only instruments but also voice! Apt kings indeed.

Whereas the first track was more of a statement of intent, the slightly lengthier second outing delves further into the chasm. Carrying the title of ’Find Your Own Gods’, after the poetic decree that professes the necessity of seeking out genuine truths on one’s own, it begins forebodingly with the guitar-licks glistening and giving off the audible equivalent of glancing at a near-still gleaming water surface. Then the drumming comes in, first in the form of bongo hits, deliberately sparse and tribal sounding, as if embarking on some naval voyage. The sitar and synths bring along a certain sense of profundity, as if Bong’s vessel was seeking to reach the very breaches of infinity. That sense is indeed most fitting when you revisit the utterance heard prior and also consider the choice of album title. The sounds come billowing, at times intensifying and receding, guiding into a serene momentum. Flowing in accord with the glacial pace it set out with, they gradually invade the recesses of your mind and erode all redundant thoughts. As the cymbals come in alongside the bongos, the resonance has grown way denser and concepts have long lost any clear and discernable meaning. Not that any notions were crucial here to begin with.

In the form of their seventh full-length, Bong are offering an alluring amalgam where they’ve shedded their usual abysmal heaviness in exchange for a slightly more mild, yet still fathomless venture into unscathed spheres. The compositions sound so muffled and timeworn but it seems completely appropriate when delving into matter so permanent. It’s more of a mini-album compared to Bong’s usual colossal outings, but it’s surely one capable of cleansing one’s being of the inessential, thus being no mere digression but a necessary turn to reclaim that which is actual and substantial. Cosmic doom at its best.


’We Are, We Were And We Will Have Been’ is available here

Band info: Facebook | Bandcamp

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