Bong‘s is a swirling cosmic atmosphere of psychedelic exploration and ritualistic drone. Among the countless live albums, splits, EPs and other limited releases, each time they coalesce in the form of a full-length, it’s more of an event than an album, and the fourth and latest, Mana-Yood-Sushai (out May 14 through Ritual Productions) is the grandest yet. Taking the Newcastle four-piece’s methods of crafting huge, expansive works of riff hypnosis and coupling them with a genuine studio production at the hands of Greg Chandler of Esoteric, the latest outing gives Bong a shape without limiting their movement into, through and around it.
It’s heady shit, in other words — and I absolutely mean that as a compliment. Comprised of just two tracks, Mana-Yood-Sushai is at once complex and minimalistic, its psych wash and chants dense, and there are times listening to the 27 minutes of “Dreams of Mana-Yood-Sushai” when you feel like there’s no path out of it, like Bong have locked you in the temple and the only option you have left is to join them in their worship. Doom by way of Stockholm Syndrome? Maybe, but it’s glorious, either way.
And yet there’s something blissful in “Dreams of Mana-Yood-Sushai” by the end of it, the gradual evolution of the guitar line leading to a sort of melodic hum underlying the weight of the ambience. Bong‘s prior LP outing, Beyond Ancient Space (review here), was nearly 80 minutes long, and at just over 46, Mana-Yood-Sushai isn’t so much a change in methodology as it is a charted course into the band’s peculiar and impeccably constructed tonal abyss.
I’m fortunate enough today to be able to stream “Dreams of Mana-Yood-Sushai” in its 27-minute entirety. Please find the track on the player below, followed by some info from the label, and enjoy:
Here is the Music Player. You need to installl flash player to show this cool thing!
Psyched-out, marvelously prolific doomlords Bong have returned once again from the outer limits of doom, drone, and Eastern melody to grace and glorify the riff upon their latest offering, a brand new album, Mana-Yood-Sushai. The album will be released on May 14 by England’s Ritual Productions, longtime supporters and purveyors of the doomed. The ethereal cover artwork is an image of a Nicolas Roerich painting titled “Mount of Five Treasures.”
Following last year’s masterpiece Beyond Ancient Space, this two-horned behemoth was recorded, mixed and mastered in just two days in December 2011, marking the first time Bong have ever entered a professional studio and recorded with an engineer. The esoteric outfit previously preferred to record live, and in shed, and in fields, and wherever the riff saw fit to lead them.
At the helm was Greg Chandler of Esoteric, who had this to say about the experience: “It was really great to record an album live in the studio with Bong, whose heavy, droning, psychedelic improvisations unfolded like a lucid, transcendental journey. Great vibe to the session with these guys, and a real pleasure to work with. I really enjoyed the session, was cool to work with a band that can just get in and do their thing with a completely no nonsense approach!”
Bassist/vocalist Dave Terry commented, “Two tracks emerged from our battles with the unfamiliar disconnectedness of studio recording, inspired in turn by the stories of Lord Dunsany and the meandering psychedelic rock of Träd Gräs och Stenar. We hope you enjoy listening to them as much as we enjoy playing them.”
For more on Bong or to pre-order Mana-Yood-Sushai, hit up the Ritual Productions website.
Tags: Bong, Newcastle, Ritual Productions, UK