BongBongBeerWizards are one of those bands born mainly for playful purposes, as can be guessed from the moniker and the improbable nicknames chosen by the musicians (Bong Travolta and Chill Collins seem to me quite eloquent), which with time has gradually become a better focused project artistically and bearer of a rather deep sound. The musical style practiced by the Dortmund trio is a drone sludge with psychedelic veins, coming the latter mainly from the alienating use of vocals, which the German guys themselves call heavy meditational doom. Ampire is the second full length, following the 2019 debut titled Bong Hit Wonders in which the desire for fun was still quite perceptible; in the new work, however, the three Germans are serious from the first to the last note of the almost fifty minutes spread along three tracks, and such offering proves to be quite convincing, although not easy to enjoy. The first song Choirs & Masses is a nice test case for the listener, who will thus have plenty of time (23 minutes) to get a feel for the sound of BongBongBeerWizards, ending up being fatally drawn in by the sonic spirals that mostly come down like mallets, in line with the most fundamentalist sludge, minus the evocative openings in which the rare vocal inserts intone eerie litanies. The other two tracks, Unison and Slumber, are partially more elaborate and, therefore, even less direct, but they do not turn out to be filler at all, confirming, if anything, the good value of the work and of a band that, beyond the basic misunderstanding that the moniker will always end up provoking, the moment it decided to really focus on its proposal managed to hit the mark, revealing itself as one of the most interesting novelties in this stylistic sphere.

2022 – Electric Valley Records