Self-released, January 2014
Major Kong’s ‘Doom Machine’ is a brilliant barrage of fuzzy instrumental stoner metal in the glorious tradition of riff worship. The Polish band deliver five thundering songs that are catchier than the bubonic plague, with highlights such as ‘Tractor Beam’ and ‘Voidwagon’ demanding instant replays.
Formed in 2010, in Lublin, Poland, Major Kong create slow, simple, Electric Wizard-style songs that are capable of getting a room full of people to swing their beards in delirious unison. The work of guitarist Misiek is varied, skillful and never less than interesting, while the headache-inducing drums sound like a planet exploding and the heavyweight bass holds it all together with a lively groove.
‘Doom Machine’ is delivered with such a sense of enjoyment and energy that even listeners who might not usually bother with instrumental stuff will surely be won over. The real key to the band’s success, of course, is in the arrangements. Major Kong do not repeat the same killer riff over and over until all the life is squeezed from it. Nor do they wander off on multiple self-indulgent solos that interrupt the flow of the song. Instead, they build atmosphere gradually, taking a musical detour here and there before returning to the central theme.
This ability to keep the listener entertained is particularly evident in the longer tracks – ‘Planets & Suns Consumed’ and ‘Skull Of The Titan’ – which clock in at almost 10 minutes each. These swirling cosmic adventures explore the furthest corners of the universe on the back of gigantic metal rocket and, crucially, they never get lost or overly repetitive. ‘Doom Machine’ is a natural progression from the band’s great 2012 album ‘Doom For The Black Sun’ but it is tighter and more mature – the sound of band at the top of its game.
This release might benefit from an occasional surprise or change of pace, or perhaps from some audio samples (in the vein of the opening seconds) to provide a little more human contact in an otherwise voiceless environment. But Major Kong are to be applauded for their ability to imagine such immense, hypnotising riffs – and then craft them into addictive stoner doom songs that put a spring in your step.
Major Kong are one of the leading lights in Poland’s flourishing doom scene, and with the release of ‘Doom Machine’ they are flying the nation’s flag with passion and pride.
Listen and pre-order here: http://majorkong.bandcamp.com/album/doom-machine