Kongh – Sole Creation

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Review by Jason Guest

Agonia Records

Album number three from Swedish Doom merchants Kongh is fucking huge! In every way imaginable. Okay, well not every way, but it’s pretty damned big. Four tracks in forty five minutes, and all of ‘em are whoppers. As ten-tonne heavy and enormously atmospheric as their previous works, this is less aggressive – at least in the vocals which, along with the music, have a hint of Mastodon about them – but no less striking. Their merging of hefty grooving riffs with extended down-tempo sludge passages and drawn out atmospheric arpeggiated passages is nothing less than impressive, Kongh balancing power with intensity throughout the album. Maybe a little tame in comparison with the earlier material, while Sole Creation’s failures are few, its merits are many.

Guitarist, vocalist and bassist Johansson does a remarkable job of integrating subtle melodic lines into his otherwise mammoth riffs as well as letting the bass, with its sound like a fart from that simian superbeast that graces the album cover, hold down the bottom end beneath the textured guitar work. This is nowhere better exemplified than in ‘The Portals’, easily the most compelling track here and one where Kongh pull it together for an extraordinary piece of music. And thumping along in the dirtied depths, drummer Salonen’s work is an exercise in restraint and controlled dynamics, each tub-thumping beat played to complement Johansson’s opaque panoramas. And with a much-improved production, where the previous albums were a little murky, here the instruments have a clarity to their sound that allows them to maintain the meat of the previous albums while broadening the vista they work within. Sole Creation is both an intellectual and muscular slab of doom that offsets it might with a sharp sensibility that makes for essential listening.

Kongh - Sole Creation8 out of 10

Track listing:

  1. Sole Creation
  2. Tamed Brute
  3. The Portals
  4. Skymning