Kongh | ‘Shadows Of The Shapeless’
Vast, towering slugs dragging their squelching forms over gravel. Sorry to get metaphoric about music again, and granted it’s a bit GCSE, but you know for a fact it’s still better than any other web review you’ll read. That’s what Swedish debutants Kongh sound like, and they’re incredibly brilliant.
The joy these days of hearing a verifiably unique band – it’s getting altogether less frequent. I liked this cd so much I actually bothered to research, and actually took an interest. You can usually discount all that; shit press releases written by lackeys and spivs, few of whom even up to the task, none of whom actually telling you anything you want to know.
But find something I want to know, I did. And that’s that though Kongh have’nt been in exitence very long, had no real motivation other than to make cool music, and that people thought their 45 minute demo was amazing. They also did a split with Ocean Chief. I also learned that I’ll have to pick up ‘Counting Heartbeats’, their last album. But actually I learned that from playing their new one repeatedly.
Kongh’s blend of sludge, blues, crust and doom is both heavy and completely immersive. It really draws you in, taking you down into its thick undercurrent. Though you can barely, and I mean barely hear it, there is the slightest suggestion of Pentagram in the guitar when they get to their choruses. That’s more a lineage thing though – it’s not like the band sound like them in any fashion at all.
Take that line of thought though, add chewn-on vocal howls, a half hundredweight production that is as honest as they come, a sense of unstobbable tumult, and you’re pretty much there. They do atmosphere. The clean guitar in ‘Essence Asunder’ prophesies doom by doing practically nothing. It’s all about what’s coming next. Then it wallops in, and once again your caught beneath a wave of thick, cool lava.
The way the vocalist has a half singing tone is suggestive even of the darkest grunge. It is of course dramatically heavier and more crushing than all of that. But even in it’s churn, it’s equally song driven. Ruminative while punishingly heavy, at times placid and at times implacable, it’s downright essential. Remeber Korpse? Some of this reminds of ‘Revirgin’, but without the fun. I’d rather say that made it a mandatory purchase. Wouldn’t you?
4.7 / 5 – Earl Grey ::: 26/08/09