Bongripper – Miserable

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Bongripper
Miserable

Following their split adventures in 2013, with hardcore/grind mob Hate and British doom compadres and everyone’s new favourites Conan, Chicago, Illinois’ Bongripper step back into their own shadows with their latest new album ‘Miserable’ comprises ‘just’ three tracks; ‘just’ because the shortest times at 17:48, while the album closes with a monumental 28:25 monolith. And that’s not without mentioning the supreme Mike Miller artwork, which combines to make a thunderous stallion of a record.

Bongripper have always been one of the most compelling instrumental doom bands to listen to, because this know how to harness a riff and then some. ‘Endless’ is a positive reminder of this – that first riff is thick and chewy like beef biltong, the second a sweet doom chugger – but of course I could go on describing every riff and it would get a bit tedious. Simply, Bongripper still retain the knack of knowing when to dispense with one riff and move onto the next of their seemingly abyssal stack of them, moving from a sense of grooviness to one that sounds ominously evil, and this one is no different, eventually culminating in near enough white noise. ‘Descent’ is equally malevolent, with some of the most thunderous booms ringing in from about nine minutes in, before dropping into a spacey, cavernous outro than perfectly sums up the songs title – it feels lonely, foreboding, even despairing, how you should feel when descending the depths. ‘Into Ruin’ caps off the whole thing with some superb headbang-inducing riffs and more low end crawls before unexpectedly alley-ooping you with a fast stoner-thrash section before dropping back into another tormentous riff. I just love how much they can pack into a song like this when their minds are at it.

This has been available for a little while now and I strongly urge you to check it out if you haven’t already. Links are below – you can stream the whole thing too and you too will find yourselves descending into ruin endlessly.

Peter Clegg

Buy ‘Miserablehere (download); or here (CD – vinyl presently sold out)

Stream it below:

Official site
Official store
Facebook
Bandcamp

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Bongripper/Hate – Split

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Bongripper/Hate
Bongripper/Hate (split)

With their upcoming UK tour with Conan fast approaching, its about time my tardy arse got round to reviewing the split release that Chicago doom heavyweights Bongripper put out with sludge-grind filth rangers and Windy City villains Hate. I should have done so already, what with what I’m about to describe and that awesome Limbo-esque artwork, but hey, life got in the way. So here goes.

The solitary Bongripper track, pleasantly entitled ‘Fisting’, is a quite splendid assault from numerous quarters, showing Bongripper to be able to flit comfortably between doom, sludge, grind and punk inside this one twelve minute track. Anyone familiar to the band’s work will know their pedigree but here they mix between the varying styles to great effect. Building up with sounds reminiscent of a cold, dark, dank subway, the bass looms from the shadows and eventually heralds a nice chunky riff. Once they call your bluff as they threaten to speed up, the second time they do so they don’t muck about, heading into a quick blast before returning to the main lick. And if that wasn’t enough, they provide a sumptuous riff around eight minutes in, which itself morphs into a punk jaunt before finally coming to rest. Phenomenal stuff.

Hate aren’t to be overshadowed though, and their presence here proves that sludge-grind seems to be on the up and up. These guys don’t do things by halves, really going full tilt in all ways including the vocalist who really screams himself hoarse here. For the most part it’s fast stuff, following the crusty hardcore punk path with all kinds of despicable noise coming from their instruments. But they too are capable of slowing the pace right down, as the sludgy goodness of ‘Invisible Man’ shows.

Split releases are enjoying a good stint in popularity among lesser known bands and when they’re as good as what’s on offer here, when two bands can truly match each other blow for blow, the results make winners of us all. Now, go catch Bongripper live, because you’ll never have a greater chance to doom out, get stoned or whatever it is you do at shows nowadays to one of its finest exponents at present.

Peter Clegg

Buy/download ‘Bongripper/Hate’ here (name-your-price)
Stream it below:

Bongripper official site
Facebook
Bandcamp

Hate Bandcamp
MySpace