JUNE 17th 2013
KONGH: SOLE CREATION

Review by Anka

The Swedish trio Kongh is pretty much an established band, currently rocking its third full-length album, which has been preceded by a couple of acclaimed records released in the past few years. I don’t want to sound overly excited and giddy, but I have to say this album definitely made a good impression on me, and hopefully you’ll be able to empathize with my feelings once you hear it. With the emergence of this recent wave of sludge/stoner doom metal, I’ve had the chance to listen to bands that, although rooted into doom metal, only alluded to the old-school sounds of this genre in their music.  With Kongh it was different, I felt closer to the heavy, traditional doom metal vibes, and at the same time, there was more… much more.
 
 “Sole Creation” is a harmonious fusion between old-school doom and sludge metal.  It starts off with crushing heaviness, and it ends with crushing dissonance. In between, you have the good ol’ down tuned guitars solidly backed by the bass, plus haunting leads that beautifully complement and follow the vocal lines. All over there are nice tonality modulations, hence this is definitely a listen to keep you hooked and connected to the album’s moods. The distorted, hypnotic guitar tones evolve at times in a progressive manner, but not only:
I heard some old-school death metal riffs there (on “Tamed Brute”) and to my surprise, even some black metal hints (“The Portals”).
 
 “Tamed Brute” remains my favorite track, if I had to mention why, I would just say “it’s my favorite harmonic journey from this album”. Not that I have too many tracks to choose from… “Sole Creation” consists of 4 lengthy songs that you have to “consume” thoroughly. Just like most of the band’s songs, they are over 10 minutes each, so there’s plenty to explore. The last two tracks set a slightly different tone, slowing down the pace even more, sounding more introspective, and somehow soothing. The last track called “Skymning” has an extended instrumental part, at times psychedelic, and eventually builds into a heavy ending with some nice dissonance. 

Vocal wise, this couldn’t get any better. A varied register, from clean vocal wailing to doomy rasp and well tempered growls, brings out the best in terms of artistic expression. You wanted feeling and atmosphere, they give you just that…

Obviously this album is for the true fans of the genre but also for the occasional listeners that perhaps prefer their doom on the heavier side. I am quite confident it will be properly enjoyed, also I think I will be hearing more from Kongh and I can only hope they maintain the heaviness on future albums. Check them out and, if by any chance you need to express your enthusiasm in Swedish say “bra som fan”!