May 19, 2013

Kongh - Sole Creation

Review by Justin C.

Kongh's latest album, Sole Creation, is available on the growing Bandcamp page of Agonia Records. The band has just two members, David Johansson and Tomas Salonen, but they make a mighty wall of sound in a genre I'll call "high-intensity doom."

I think it will be clear why I'm going with the "high-intensity doom" label when you hear how this album charges out of the gate. The opening track, "Sole Creation," quickly builds to a thundering riff over a tribal-sounding drum pattern. If this doesn't make you want to go on a King Kong(h)-style rampage of destruction, then I don't know what will. There are plenty of stately, doomy tempos on this album, but even if the speed ebbs and flows, the intensity stays high.

The lyrics of "Sole Creation" and "Tamed Brute" both describe some kind of beast, imprisoned against its will. How the beast came to be and how it was captured aren't clear, but the rage is unmistakable. Vocalist David Johansson has a wicked guttural, but he mainly sticks to clean vocals throughout the album, using his growls as punctuation. The vocals may be clean, but they have a very satisfying rasp that works very well with the music. I hear bits and pieces of 90s grunge in them, particularly Alice in Chains, with some hints of early Ozzy, but Johansson's vocal style is ultimately his own, filled with eerie menace. It also doesn't hurt that he's a good singer, period.

I don't normally geek out on production--I'm fairly tolerant to anything but the very extremes of quality, but it just so happens that this is a fantastic-sounding album. Salonen's drums are clear and well-balanced, and Johansson's guitar tone is growling but still focused, with the thundering bottom end serving as a great counterpoint to the winding lines he often plays above the foundational riffs.

I feel like this album didn't get a lot of attention in North America, but hopefully its availability on Bandcamp will change that.

[Go to the post to view the Bandcamp player]

1 comment:
  1. AnonymousMay 19, 2013

    Well, for my part, I've been listening to Vhol and Immolation quite a bit.

    As you say, "Sole Creation" is quite good. After that it drops in quality fairly precipitously.