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BONG - Live At Roadburn 2010 - 2012 - 2014

This release has been out for a while now. But even though I wanted to have it since the first time I heard about it, its (fair, yet still hefty) price plus shipping always made me prioritize other things.

Finally in the Roadburn merch hall I couldn't resist any longer. And oh you Wizards of Krull, do I not regret it!

BONG - Live At Roadburn 2010 - 2012 - 2014 (3LP + 3CD box) (2018)

Bong, meditative doom high priests from the United Kingdom of Drone, have played live at Roadburn three times between 2010 and 2014.

I had the pleasure of witnessing at least the last show (it was my personal second Roadburn) and I  still hold it dear as a very formative experience in the development of my musical preferences during my Roadbeginner years.

The 2010 show had already been put out before - with a different cover including the old band logo -, so one third of this new release isn't totally fresh. But first: it has been remastered. And second: Come on, what a lame reason would that be to forgo this box?

The box contains all three shows on CD in simple cardboard packaging and on vinyl, each one in its own cover with protective inner and outer sleeve. Each cover artwork is derived from the studio album which was performed in full in that particular night, being the self-titled "Bong", "Mana-Yood-Sushai" and "Stoner Rock".
(Admittedly it was helpful for my buying decision that even though I own several Bong albums on vinyl, these three are the ones I only had on compact disc.)

Bong live at Roadburn 2014
It looks glorious and it sounds even better. With three of the in total only seven tracks hitting and even going beyond the thirty minute mark, it's a small wonder that one record per show was enough. But don't expect to hear long applause after those tracks. They fade as soon as it's possible.
And as I said: The pressing not only almost defies physics, it also sounds really rich and deep and good!

I had a working day in the field this week where I had to drive a couple hundred of kilometers, so I just listened to this whole three hour affair in one go. It didn't bore me for one moment.

Just as each Bong song is about slow, almost unnoticed progressions, until you are in the middle of a boosting supernatural storm without any idea how the fuck you got there, since time seemed to be standing still forever just a heartbeat ago, just as that these three shows build upon each other: While the mightily droning undertone and the mystical sitar-like wailing of the shaahi baaja never cease, each show gets more monolithic by not only introducing one more additional guitar player, but also by the growing skill of writing and arranging these mammoth compositions.

This whole thing is a giant cosmic flow, always getting closer and closer to the event horizon. Among the whole amazing discography of Bong this might very well be their holy grail. My small mortal self by all means will worship the shit out of it!

Essential doom drone perfection.

"Live At Roadburn 2010 - 2012 -2012" is also available as a CD box or digitally on the bandcamp site of Roadburn Records.

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