Binge by BongCauldronRelease date: December 1, 2017
Label: APF Records
Forged in the same fires as the British warrior class of metal bands Motörhead, Raging Speed Horn and Twelve Boar, BongCauldron, a trio from West Yorkshire, have been creating quite a buzz for the past couple of years. They had an EP out way back in 2014, so this long player has been a long time coming, during which time they have been picking up support slots with a veritable who’s who of underground metal heroes, including Corrosion Of Conformity, Eyehategod, Yob, Windhand and Monolord. Now it’s time to deliver an album, and they have been lucky enough to hook up with Chris Fielding of Conan in his Skyhammer Studio, a man and a place well suited to deliver the filthy sonic brews from within BongCauldron.
Binge, sonically, is everything you would want from a doomy, sludge metal album – titanic, fuzzy riffage, bloodcurdling bellows and a drum sound like Brontosaurus bones bashing your ear drums. BongCauldron mix the fucked up white trash attitude of Raging Speed Horn (and similar dual vocals by Corky and Biscuit) with the tongue in cheek humour and badass groove of Twelve Boar, especially on album highlight ‘Bigfoot Reigns’.
What separates Bongcauldron’s debut from dozens of other entertaining, hell for leather metal albums is the band’s use of clever time changes and vaguely experimental noise passages. The title track ‘Binge’ and the aforementioned ‘Bigfoot Reigns’ take unexpectedly atmospheric turns for songs about hedonism and apemen, with long, doomy, feedback drenched lulls that taker you into a deeper, richer listening experience.
‘Hopeless’ completes a trio of high quality numbers at the centre of the album, with a superbly ragged set of crushing riffs and powerhouse sticksmanship from drummer Jay.
It is actually the more straight ahead ragers that take more time to make an impression upon you and I have to say the last two tracks can meld into one big angry splurge at times, although individual melodies do eventually reveal themselves. It is not a perfect album, but for a debut it is remarkably self assured, the band already reaching for a distinctive sound. If BongCauldron continue to branch out and explore their more experimental leanings then I think they have a really interesting career ahead of them. In the meanwhile Binge is just that – a dangerously enjoyable feast of metal.