KONGH - Shadows Of The Shapeless

Kongh - Shadows Of The Shapeless

5 songs
56:38 minutes
***** ****
Trust No One


Not to be confused with Dutch instrumental quadraphonic instrumental band Kong who recently celebrated their comeback, this Swedish band tactfully added a supplementary “h” to their band name, consists only of three members, uses vocals and is at home in the doom metal genre. Shadows Of The Shapeless is their second longplayer, after a demo released two years after their inception in 2004, their debut Counting Heartbeats from 2007 and a split-LP with Ocean Chief one year later where they graced their fans with a twenty-four minute crusher.

The songs on Shadows Of The Shapeless may not be that long, but apart from the four minute centrepiece Tänk På Döden which works like an instrumental bridge, we get once again four long tracks ranging between ten and sixteen minutes. The CD starts quite brutally with the eleven minute running Unholy Water which sees the band from their more aggressive side. Combining their doom music with sludge and thrash, the trio assaults the unsuspecting reviewer with a sluggish monster full of killer riffs and fiercely spewing vocals that at times revert to an unexpected melodic delivery. The following Essence Asunder, a whole quarter hour long, goes even further and making it quite believable that their roots come from such different genres like blues and grindcore. The Swedes set themselves apart from the usual genre traits by playing in a territory much closer to Neurosis, Yob or Isis. After the mellower short middle track which uses leitmotifs featured in the preceding songs, they continue with another ten minute monster, Voice Of The Below. The album ends with the sixteen minute long title track, leaving the staggered listener who still has a hard time believing that doom metal can still be so innovative.

Although there are many great doom bands out there, Kongh still manage to elevate themselves onto a higher level, coalescing different styles – doom, sludge, post metal, psychedelia, hard rock, ambient – into something they can shamelessly call their very own take on extreme music. Recurring themes, plenty of variation and an uncompromising approach, refined by a powerful production, turn Shadows Of The Shapeless into an essential extreme metal album that every slo-mo fan has to put into their collection.

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