Doom is a genre that many fans find difficult to get into, yet it has evolved into perhaps the most dynamic, diverse, experimental genres within Metal. KONGH’s latest release, “Shadows Of The Shapeless,” showcases this diversity, presenting some inspired, emotive, and evocative music.
This release contains many of the hallmark characteristics of Stoner and Sludge – the atonal quality to the vocals, dissonant guitar picking, the use of feedback as an “instrument,” so to speak. Yet this is not a conventional Stoner/Sludge release. KONGH are made up of band members from very different backgrounds and influences, from Grind to Blues, and these influences shine through. “Essence Asunder” begins with approximately 3 minutes of bluesy clean picking that call to mind some of the more psychedelic stuff recorded by mid-career PINK FLOYD. This gives way to heavy Sludge riffing, only to slow down to a Funeral Doom pace at about the 9:50 mark. The Funeral vibe is further advanced by the vocals of David Johanssen, which occasionally veer into growl territory similar to the menacing sound created by DISEMBOWELMENT.
KONGH have also paid attention to the overall impact that the composition of this release will have when taken in its entirety. “Tänk Pä Döden” is an instrumental piece that serves as motif for the opening track, and creates a sense of continuity for the album. Firm grounding in Stoner/Sludge provides a solid framework for all of the experimentation, and keeps the album from losing focus or becoming a meandering Drone-fest.
“Shadows Of The Shapeless” is alternately crushing and solitary in its mood. Listeners will have fun discovering the influences of other acts, such as the aforementioned, along with a heavy SLEEP and HIGH ON FIRE vibe that permeates the disk. Well-structured, yet experimental, this record will delight Doom fans who want more than just some slow riffing and droning vocals.
(Online June 22, 2009)