Rating:
9.0
Bong - Beyond Ancient Space
16 May 2011


01. Onward To Perdóndaris
02. Across The Time-Stream
03. In The Shadow Of The Towers


I must admit that I hadn't heard about Bong before I stumbled across Beyond Ancient Space. Droning doom/sludge is what I do enjoy, but I wasn't ready to be so mercilessly blown away by a band I didn't know existed until its music stomped me into the shaggy carpet of my living room.

As far as drone goes, it doesn't really get much better than Bong's latest album. Slow tempos, psychedelic atmosphere, repetitive, lingering guitar riffs, thundering bass. The haunting, and yet relaxed and somehow narcotic ambiance is underlined by the use of sitar and an instrument called shahi baaja. Kill me if I know what it is, but it does sound great, if not slightly demented. The vocals are scarcely noticeable, and most of the time they resemble some kind of chanting that brings to mind a monastery somewhere high in the mountains, where monks never talk to each other, and only open their mouths to sing psalms at vespers.

Three monolithic songs clock in at over 79 minutes, but boredom is not present there. Admittedly, for people new to the genre Bong could be a bit much due to the sheer length of the songs and the higher than usual attention span required to fully digest them. But once you get used to the monstrous length, you will be able to fully enjoy Bong's latest opus, its ethereal majesty and unrivalled might. This is an unexpected gem that should challenge the whole drone/sludge scene this year. I do hope it will not go unnoticed.

Performance: 8
Songwriting: 9
Originality: 8
Production: 9


 


written by Daniell | 11.07.2011



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InnerSelf - 11.07.2011 at 18:47  
This sounds right up my alley . will be checking it out as soon as possible
btw great review, short and right to the point (unlike this album ^_^)
Susan - 11.07.2011 at 18:55  
Wow. This peaked my interest big time. Sludge with sitar, metaphors about monks and shag carpet... what's not to like!?! Ok here I go looking for this album.
Mr. Doctor - 11.07.2011 at 20:58  
Woa, the length is fucking wicked! The music seems like something I would enjoy as well!

Sold!
Ozman - 11.07.2011 at 21:56  
Saw them in the Green Room at Roadburn 2010 and they were just awesome.
Daniell - 11.07.2011 at 22:23  
And so is this record. Easily the best doom/drone release of the year for me.
Being and Time - 11.07.2011 at 23:01  
I don't really listen to drone/doom, but this sounds like an interesting record. I'll check it out. Thanks for the nice review, Daniell.
Daniell - 11.07.2011 at 23:04  
I'm known to be able to make albums look more interesting than they are, so don't get your hopes too high
Ivor - 11.07.2011 at 23:19  
Written by Daniell on 11.07.2011 at 23:04

I'm known to be able to make albums look more interesting than they are, so don't get your hopes too high

Haven't checked the stuff but the question begs itself. Are you by any chance a salesman by occupation?

I.
Daniell - 11.07.2011 at 23:27  
Haha, I used to be many years ago
I guess old habits die hard
bluegreengod - 12.07.2011 at 07:10  
Cool stuff, but they should have made the songs longer.
Daniell - 12.07.2011 at 09:25  
They couldn't. They ran out of space.
-DC-002- - 13.07.2011 at 05:58  
Oh ya, this is good shit for sure!

Even though the songs are structured differently, Beyond Space and time remind me of, Murmuüre's telf titled album if if where a dronier, doomier record. II guess it it's in the psychedelics.
Mr. Doctor - 13.07.2011 at 11:27  
Written by -DC-002- on 13.07.2011 at 05:58

Oh ya, this is good shit for sure!

Even though the songs are structured differently, Beyond Space and time remind me of, Murmuüre's telf titled album if if where a dronier, doomier record. II guess it it's in the psychedelics.


Now you just gave me more reasons to check this out asap.
Also... I think it's quite funny that one Bong song is pretty much the entire length of Murmuüre's s/t.
Xnoybis - 13.07.2011 at 21:26  
Will be looking in to this...

need to add another to the drinking game... each stoner/doom/sludge band with a reference to weed in their name... weedeater, bong, bongripper.
LeChron James - 14.07.2011 at 09:13  
See, I used to own a Bong that could take you to Beyond Ancient Space (LOLOL HAR HAR HAR), but now that there is a band claiming the same thing, I feel I must investigate.
!J.O.O.E.! - 10.08.2011 at 03:28  
Just listened to the radio edits on Youtube and going by those this could be in the top 3 records I've heard this year... damn amazing shizzle. Psychedelic, almost non-metal style drone: I can't think of anything sexier. Feels like 'Witchcult Today' with harder, much harder, drugs as well as being reminiscent of Horseback's 'The Invisible Mountain'

Nice review!
Mr. Doctor - 10.08.2011 at 13:55  
Written by !J.O.O.E.! on 10.08.2011 at 03:28

Just listened to the radio edits on Youtube and going by those this could be in the top 3 records I've heard this year... damn amazing shizzle. Psychedelic, almost non-metal style drone: I can't think of anything sexier. Feels like 'Witchcult Today' with harder, much harder, drugs as well as being reminiscent of Horseback's 'The Invisible Mountain'


Weird, I don't see what's so non-metal about it specially if you compare it with Witchcult Today which is last time I checked, a metal album. This album sounds metal enough for me to call it metal.
Yeah, the album is pretty damn good.
!J.O.O.E.! - 10.08.2011 at 14:10  
Written by Mr. Doctor on 10.08.2011 at 13:55

Written by !J.O.O.E.! on 10.08.2011 at 03:28

Just listened to the radio edits on Youtube and going by those this could be in the top 3 records I've heard this year... damn amazing shizzle. Psychedelic, almost non-metal style drone: I can't think of anything sexier. Feels like 'Witchcult Today' with harder, much harder, drugs as well as being reminiscent of Horseback's 'The Invisible Mountain'


Weird, I don't see what's so non-metal about it specially if you compare it with Witchcult Today which is last time I checked, a metal album. This album sounds metal enough for me to call it metal.
Yeah, the album is pretty damn good.

It has the same feel in many ways as Witchcult but really there's not much here to indicate a relation to metal, it's almost pure drone (which isn't metal and shouldn't be confused with drone metal). No real riffs, more like a freeform, noodling style noise rock feel (and nothing metal about the sitar), rock style drumming, wailing vocals that you'd find in some new weird america style outfit and that unchanging low-end fuzz. I don't think it's metal, metal is definitely a finite genre and it stretches it too far outside its boundaries.
Mr. Doctor - 10.08.2011 at 14:18  
Written by !J.O.O.E.! on 10.08.2011 at 14:10

It has the same feel in many ways as Witchcult but really there's not much here to indicate a relation to metal, it's almost pure drone (which isn't metal and shouldn't be confused with drone metal). No real riffs, more like a freeform, noodling style noise rock feel (and nothing metal about the sitar), rock style drumming, wailing vocals that you'd find in some new weird america style outfit and that unchanging low-end fuzz. I don't think it's metal, metal is definitely a finite genre and it stretches it too far outside its boundaries.


You got a point there though. I guess the drums reminded me of some doom metal stuff but that's it. I guess it's like saying that Earth's debut is metal. The feeling itself is metal-related to me but not the music itself so yeah, I see your point and agree... I will still call it metal tbh.

Although I wouldn't call metal a finite genre, it's not more or less finite than any other music genre tbh. I would agree about the traditional metal but that's another topic. The point is that this shit is good and I should buy it soon.
Daniell - 10.08.2011 at 15:19  
Glad to see that Bong is getting some deserved attention
!J.O.O.E.! - 10.08.2011 at 16:08  
Written by Mr. Doctor on 10.08.2011 at 14:18


You got a point there though. I guess the drums reminded me of some doom metal stuff but that's it. I guess it's like saying that Earth's debut is metal. The feeling itself is metal-related to me but not the music itself so yeah, I see your point and agree... I will still call it metal tbh.

Although I wouldn't call metal a finite genre, it's not more or less finite than any other music genre tbh. I would agree about the traditional metal but that's another topic. The point is that this shit is good and I should buy it soon.

Aye, it probably sounds like I'm being fussy but I'm not really bothered either way. It's certainly on the fringes of metal and taking into account the band's image (and name) gives it a metal edge. Anyway, I love this kind of "on the edge" stuff.
Mr. Doctor - 10.08.2011 at 17:00  
Written by !J.O.O.E.! on 10.08.2011 at 16:08

Aye, it probably sounds like I'm being fussy but I'm not really bothered either way. It's certainly on the fringes of metal and taking into account the band's image (and name) gives it a metal edge. Anyway, I love this kind of "on the edge" stuff.


Heheh yeah You have posted quite a few times about how much you like ambiguity in your music.
Enoch - 18.02.2012 at 04:41  
I really enjoy the depth of this album.

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