Tuesday 23 January 2024

DUNGEÖN ~ DUNGEÖN .... review

Been a while since Desert Psychlist dived down the stoner-doom rabbit hole so what better way to revisit said hole than with an EP released by a band from The Psychlist's own UK homeland. The band in question are a trio, Zak Larkins (bass/vocals). Guy Southam (drums) and Keir Sheehan (bass), who go by the name Dunge​ö​n and describe what they do as "noise terror and riff worship", which given the dank, dark nature of their self titled debut EP "Dunge​ö​n" is a pretty apt description.

Opening track "Green Throne" begins, like so many songs do in this genre, with sampled narrative lifted from a horror movie then erupts into low slow reverberating bass and guitar riffage replete with the necessary pounding drumming over which bellowed semi spoken vocals tell their dark tale, it all sounds pretty par for the course so far doesn't it? Well actually it's not and the reason it is not comes down to how well Dunge​ö​n structure their sound, yes there is plenty of repetition and riff reliance going on here but there are also places where the band go off-piste and dare we say get a little cosmic and out there. Following track "Parasite" starts off life eerie and full of menacing suspense then the hammer goes down and the band explode into a seriously fuzzed out and distorted stoner doomic refrain that if it were any heavier would be in danger of  totally collapsing into just noise. Vocals here are again delivered in a tuneful bellow but, thanks to their placement in the mix, are not overbearing or too in the listeners face, a pet hate of Desert Psychlist's is when these type of vocals are pushed too high in the mix but these sit perfectly in the "goldilocks zone" and serve to enhance rather than detract from the songs overall impact. Final number "Condemn The Earth" eases back a little on the fuzz and distortion, albeit only slightly, and boasts a groove that sits somewhere between stoner and proto doom with the latter of those two dynamics being a touch more Electric Wizard than it is Black Sabbath, again there is not much variation to be found in the songs riffs or for that matter the vocal delivery but, like the two previous songs, there is enough for things not to fall into tedium, the swirling solo's and use of sampled narrative elevating the song to a level far above the usual generic plodding this genre can sometimes descend into.

 Ludicrously loud, crushingly heavy and deliciously dank "Dunge​ö​n" is everything you could want from a release bearing the tags doom and sludge metal but it also has so much more working in its favour, its occasional forays into more cosmic territories and its clever use of samples raise its sonic impact from generic to genre defining. 
Check it out ...

© 2024 Frazer Jones

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