Tuesday 19 January 2016

Review: Viet Bong – 'Total Doomedelic Freakout'

'Total Doomedelic Freakout'

With a name like Viet Bong and an EP called 'Total Doomedelic Freakout' there is a certain level of expectation that this Leeds based project will deliver some really nasty psychedelic doom metal. And that's exactly what you get. The EP is an official bootleg so it isn't great quality, but it is a damn gritty and solid expression of stripped-back doom metal with a strong dose of 60s garage rock thrown in for good measure with a nice live feel to it.

With only drums and guitar in the mix you'd be forgiven for assuming the duo have sacrificed any power or bottom end to their sound. But they haven't. Thundering, almost tribal rhythms meet walls of distorted guitars that brings to mind Ron Asheton of The Stooges playing through a lysergic nightmare before being dragged to hell through his own kneecaps. Throw in some disjointed horror and a lot of tempo changes and you have the kind of demonic freakout that would give Kenneth Anger a satanic stiffie.

Across the four songs 'Black Magic', 'Death Mass', 'Rising Son', and 'Requiem For The Devil' the duo keep things simple but interesting with solid drum grooves and addictive guitar riffs powering through each track, varying the tempos and the attack as they see fit.

As mentioned before the EP is a rough bootleg with a very live feel to it, but that doesn't detract from it in anyway. In fact it gives it a strange allure. As though this is some long lost and recently uncovered treasure from a band that people should have rightly heard of.

The EP shows a hell of a lot of promise with an accessible psychedelic sound, strong riffs and groovy drums. The sound could maybe do with being underpinned with some thick bass, and it would be interesting to hear one or two of these compositions with vocals to see what dimension that would give them. But even in this stripped-back and minimalist form there is plenty for doom fans to get their teeth into. Hopefully a longer and clearer recording will appear before too long.  

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