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Now this is just ridiculous... - 30%

caspian, September 5th, 2007

Hour long songs aren't an easy proposition, for the listener or for the band. The band's songwriting skill gets pushed to the limit, and in the drone/funeral doom genres, the listener's patience gets stretched really thin.

So, most bands who do the super long song thang will try to keep the listener interested. Nadja's Thaumogenesis changed dynamics often, and ran through a huge amount of varying emotions. Boris's Flood epic and their Merzbow collab 'Sun Baked Snow Cave' went through some extreme dynamics, going from brutal machine-generated noise to gentle acoustic guitars. Even more inaccessible drone acts like Black Boned Angel mix up their feedback laden trips with the occasional bit of melody supplied by a piano or what have you.

Not so Bunkur. Perhaps it was an attempt to be really extreme, or maybe these dudes are just really tormented, I don't know. Or perhaps they were just like "Yeah lets just repeat one riff over and over for an hour". ..Or maybe they're really crap on their instruments and could only learn one riff. Who knows what their motivation was? Regardless, this is album is a lesson in how NOT to write an hour long song.

Yes, this is indeed an exercise in monotonous-ness (and this is coming from a Sunn O))) fan.). I guess the atmosphere is powerful- the endless repetition does sound quite hellish, and the vocalist's constant tormented growls/screams make the thing sound very cathartic. Indeed, give this a 5/10 minute listen and the album goes quite well- the synths are mixed very well (nice and low, but still audible and atmospheric), and the basses (!) churn out some brutal Neurosis-at-quarter-speed riffs.There's a pretty big emphasis on the drums here too, with them beating out a really, really slow beat, but occaisonally coming to the foreground with a few big snare hits. The one slight bit of variation about thirty minutes in is too short, but it keeps you interested just that little bit longer, and it's a fairly nice mid-paced break. The one riff in this song is quite good, no doubt.

..So perhaps that's why they decided to repeat it so much? As I said, as a 10 minute track this would be excellent. But this goes on for SIXTY FIX FREAKING MINUTES. It really is incredibly monotonous, and the whole thing wears pretty thin. While I love drone-doom and think it's a totally valid genre, I'm thinking that perhaps this was actually a joke. The dudes in Bunkur were all like "Yeah lets do an hour long song with no variation, and see if we can sucker any people into buying it!"

To conclude, then. This album is quite frankly extremely boring, being sixty five minutes of basically no variation, just one super slow riff slowly pounding on and on. The sound is interesting, what with the drumming and atmospheric synth action, but as an hour long song this fails bad. I hope these guys will one day shorten their songs a bit, as that would be quite nice, but I think their next album is going to an 80 (!) minute long song, so I guess they haven't learned their lesson. Oh well. Don't get this, unless if you are an extremely dedicated/stoned drone fan.