Bong Cauldron – ‘Binge’   29 comments

APF records have announced the launch of ‘Binge’, Bong Cauldron’s debut album, on 30th November 2017. The sludge meisters now have a big following in the underground metal scene, leading to support gigs with Corrosion Of Conformity, Eyehategod, Pentagram, Weedeater, Yob, Windhand and Monolord, etc. Recorded by Chris Fielding, of Conan, at his own Skyhammer Studio, ‘Binge’ will be available on limited edition green and black vinyl, limited edition digipack CDs and digitally. Renowned for their massive riffs and huge grooves, Bong Cauldron have sought to attain this sound on ‘Binge’.

Devil – Fittingly evil feedback intro, before launching straight into classic sludge territory. Aptly satanic lyrics, set to what becomes a fairly catchy rhythm. Well conveyed vocal frustration and an effective outro, equalling the intro. A fair start.

Bury Your Axe In The Crania Of Lesser Men – Good penetrating bass heavy intro, with very bloody vocals and lots of generic sludge. Pretty basic filler. Still effective, but just not much more to say about it. Needs a few diversity markers.

68 – Great powerful drum intro, throwing in much more power to the vocals and accompaniments, this time. A far more memorable, speed themed, aggressive track. Refocused catch and hooks – it’s a vast improvement.

Binge – A bit yo-yo-ish, in intro sound terms. Big reverb emphasis and quite growly, vocally. More anger coming across now. Catchier melody injected into this one, which although simple, really becomes the main focus, forming a stronger base around which, the rest of the songs’ structure is formed. Building in power and momentum, for the acute finale, the title track’s redeemed the album, so far.

Bigfoot Reigns – Faster riff intro takes control, evolving into a fairground revolution like intensity. Central to the song, it does it great justice. Drums and bass forming a new layer of sludge, strengthening the general intensity, it then moves on to another level of sensory experience, ending just in time to rescue itself from the risk of becoming lost in the chamber of its own sound.

Hopeless – Clearer brief fingerpicking solo acoustic intro, then launching into newer ground. Taking on a new life, in the form of a more power focused composition, the sludge returns, towards the end. Powerful close, ‘Hopeless’ displays an oddly hopeful blend of uplifting speed, melody and grounding sludge. The strongest track so far.

Toxic Boglin – Lots of heaviness here. Slight vibrato approaching edge to the riffage now, it’s a short track, yet holds a lot of power. Slightly clearer vocal emphasis, too. A track with not much to say, but which packs a lot into its brief message.

Yorkshire Born – Upping the party rock fun factor, it’s a track approaching mosh pit territory. Filling the whole song with that kind of light-hearted vibe, it’s almost like a form of light relief respite, saved for last. Over fairly quickly, it brings a relaxed element, to the album’s end.

Overall – A fairly average, but gradually improving sludge offering, gathering pace and enjoyment, as it progresses. Could do with more excitement, but picks up the power, 3 tracks in. Its strengths are in its speed, melodic and power elements, so playing to these a lot more would serve it well, even as a sludge album. Heard better, but also heard far worse. As standard sludge, it’ll do. Just best kept for low-energy days and indifferent frames of mind.

5/10 *****

For fans of Iron Monkey and other doom based sludge metal.

Mastered by James Plotkin, at Plotkinworks.

Artwork by Dominic Sohor, at Dominic Sohor Design.

Released 1st December 2017, via APF Records.

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Posted September 21, 2017 by jennytate in Uncategorized

29 responses to “Bong Cauldron – ‘Binge’

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