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Short, sharp, shocking film -short soundtracks - 80%

NausikaDalazBlindaz, October 28th, 2012

Unusually for a band that likes to release hour-long albums of improvised instrumental doom metal, Bongripper have released a 10-minute EP of two songs, "Sex Tape / Snuff Film". Quite why they did this, I don't know: it almost seems as if they're taking the piss out of themselves by making such a short recording and, moreover, including very hurried music. Yet the two tracks are complete in themselves and don't sound like snippets of much longer pieces which some people might assume. I'd say it's a good exercise for Bongripper to release short recordings and perhaps they should do it more often: short releases need to get the listener's attention straight away and keep it for the duration of the music and there's no time to create and cultivate a long piece in which layers of instruments and sound textures can be added to build up a sonically rich structure in which listeners can be totally absorbed. The cover artwork and song titles leave us in no doubt that what Bongripper are about to detail isn't at all pretty.

"Sex Tape" starts off slow with rhythmic and repetitive guitar riffs and basic percussion before suddenly speeding up halfway through and going thrashy. There's a squeal of lead guitar that suggests violation. The track returns to a slightly more settled pace and keeps going before ending abruptly. "Snuff Film" begins with a chilling introduction, all snaky percussion and drawn-out guitar drone, that settles into a trundle and then a rock-out studded with brief bits of sludge and a snip of high-pitched noise. Into the fourth minute, the track becomes slower (but not very much so) with ponderous drums, some repetitive riffs and experimentation with high-pitched guitar whistles before petering out unexpectedly. A guitar rumble that might be simulating trickling liquid completes the ending. Although only five minutes long, "Snuff Film" is a varied track ranging from slow and near-sludgey to fast and almost garagey, to doomy and ponderous.

These are two very expressive mini-soundtracks to imaginary film shorts whose plots might be extremely violent and repulsive. Probably better to imagine these film shorts running in your head than wait until someone actually makes the films to match the music. Bongripper show they're capable of not just putting together short, sharp and shocking doom metal pieces that are also compact and which pack a series of punches, they're also able to create soundtrack music that tells a story, unpleasant though it is. I only wish these tracks had a been a bit longer but perhaps Bongripper were not really certain that they could sustain the impression of a film running entirely through instrumental doom.