This summer was not all about disappointments, friends. For ’twas during these past sultry months that I became fully acquainted with my new BFFs in the instrumental doom subgenre – fucken Bongfuckenripper.
If the tag “instrumental doom” didn’t scare you off, let me throw a few other descriptors out there. No tracks under 11 minutes. Few riffs. Ambiance. Drone. Now that we’re left with a roomful of only the faithful, let’s proceed.
Satan Worshipping Doom is broken into four tracks, cleverly (?) named “Hail,” “Satan,” “Worship” and “Doom.” While I would never listen to anything less than the whole album at a stretch, if I had to pick a favorite it would be “Worship.” Why? Got me. There’s just something about it that perfectly encapsulates what Bongripper does best – a simple, big stonery riff that repeats for a few minutes, with gradual changes happening in the background, then a buildup that results in a new riff, or maybe an ambient, post-metal style section, or maybe a guitar solo, or maybe an EVEN HEAVIER riff which, driven onward by a perfect doom drummer, pummels you directly into the doomiest circle of hell…16 minutes later, my underwear is ruined.
Getting back on track, one song that is a bit different than your typical ‘gripper material is “Satan,” which definitely has a black metal tinge to the riffing. If I had to pick out what this sounds like, I’d say there is a Work Which Transforms God vibe going on – kind of a mechanical blvckness. Did I just spot a semi-obscure influence? What do I win? A copy of the hard-to-find Great Barrier Reefer? Reefer Sutherland’s autograph? More orgasmic oceans of thudding, mammoth riffs? More feedback? More noise? MORE BONG?!?!?
Well, my descriptive powers have failed me. I’m just ranting at this point. Fuck it, what these dudes do is beyond description. They have distilled a certain, deep and magical essence of the slower realms. It is primeval. Drug usage is not a necessity to partake of what is offered here. Seriously, if you have any affinity for death/doom, funeral doom, Fruit of the Loom, or “Betty and Joon” you need Satin Wetpanty Gloom in your collection.
After picking up this album, I’ve been raiding Amazon to fill in the rest of their discography. Neither Hippie Killer nor Miserable have left me disappointed. Despite mostly eschewing vocals, Bongripper possess an amazing, defined personality all their own that keeps me coming back for more. You can hear it in every album. Maybe it is the stable lineup, or the uniformly excellent production. Maybe it is the monolithic might of these four Chicagonoids. One thing is for sure – no one else could have written or performed long-ass tracks like “Hail,” “Satan,” “Worship” or “Doom” exactly the same way, nor could they have delivered this much absolute, sludgy pleasure while doing so.
So why all the ranting and raving, the 10/10 score? Probably because I’ve been spinning SWD so relentlessly. It fits my listening habits perfectly, as I absorb most of my metal whilst commuting for about an hour each way on a train. Either I’m tired as shit because I just woke up, or I’m tired as shit because I just had a long day. Throwing on some Bongripper soothes my aching brain, delivers my required daily metallic input, and allows my thoughts to wander. Their albums last just about as long as the train ride. All hail COMMUTE METAL! Good stuff.
In summary – I love you, Bongripper. Please keep making super-long, vocal-free, low-riffcount songs until the end of time.