Thursday, May 17, 2012
BONG- MANA-YOOD-SUSHAI CD (Ritual Productions )
UK psychedelic Drone DOOM band, BONG is back with their next record. This is the first record the band has recorded in a proper studio. It features two long tracks, each around 20mins each. For me it was going to be very difficult for them to top the totally mind blowing, Beyond Ancient Space CD. This was pretty amazing. The only thing this band can do to raise their spacey drone doom art to the next level is for there to be more lead guitar work to add another cool psychedelic, 70s rock feel to this or more far out space sounds.. Anyway, Dreams of Mana-Yood.Sushaí starts off the 27min journey. It starts slow and spacey with a guitar drone and the eastern instrument as it slowly builds. You can’t go wrong with a spoken word piece of the great Lord Dunsany, who wrote very cool fantasy. About 15mins into the track, there is a long quite cool lead guitar section, which the band used to do more of in the older live recordings. Great to see that returning a bit here. Trees, Grass and Stones (perhaps a nod to the great Swedish psych band, who sadly no longer exists after the death of their drummer in April 2012). This 19 min track starts much like the previous. A bit more than half way through a quite cool spacey guitar solo creates a nice thread of diversion from the main drone theme as you continue to float into the ether world…
While most of the reviews hail this as the bands masterpiece, I still have to say that I prefer the last record. I am not so keen on the new clean production, especially the way the drums are too present, it really takes away from the power (just like on the new St Vitus) and rawness that is necessary for this type of music to have it’s full effect. Still a damn cool record that I will enjoy and listen to. It was great to hear the band perform it live at Roadburn but sadly, they did not really extend or space it out much more than what is presented here.