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Kongh Describe Their Visit From the Vetlanda Mental Institution

For better or worse, every band remembers its first show. For the members of Kongh, their first show was one they will likely never forget. “This was back in 2005 when the band was just a two-piece, me and Tomas [Salonen],” vocalist/guitarist David Johansson told Noisecreep. “We had two songs at about 20 minutes each, and they were both instrumental. This girl we knew had a mother who worked with mentally challenged people, and they thought it would be a good idea to take them out on a field trip to see a rock band. She had no idea what kind of ‘rock’ we played though, so we were a bit doubtful, but stoked at the same time as it would be our first show ever.

“So one Saturday they showed up, 10 people of different kinds. Some were happy and talked like hell, while others looked strictly into the walls and sat by themselves. Anyway, they all settled in our rehearsal room and we started doing our stuff. Through the whole set they were watching us, very concentrated and focused the whole time. After we finished, they didn’t react at all for the first 20 seconds or so, but then they all started to yell and clap their hands, so I guess they liked it after all! The hospital staff paid us with tobacco, and then they left. Nice day. Would do it again for sure!”

Hailing from small towns in the Småland province of southern Sweden, Kongh take their influences more from the “massive spruce forests” that surround them than the local music scene. Johansson told Noisecreep, “The musical climate here isn’t very exciting. so we wouldn’t consider that an influence. But the nature, with forests, lakes and mountains is very inspiring, and I would definitely consider it a part of our music.”

To the uninitiated, one might think that Kongh are just a little corpse paint short of being yet another black metal band to rise from the grim forests of Scandinavia. However, one listen to their sophomore full-length release ‘Shadows of the Shapeless’ will dispel that theory. Having the guitars and bass recorded with the holy grail of sludge metal amps, an Orange Thunderverb 200, Kongh tend to favor slow and dense over tremolo picking and blast beats. Despite being more sludge metal than black metal, the overall vibe and atmosphere of ‘Shadows of the Shapeless’ would put even the most ardent fans of Burzum‘s ‘Varg-vibe’ in a happy place.

“Of course we don’t say that we’re a black metal band, but we listen to a lot of black metal, and I think the atmosphere and approach finds its way into our music,” explained Johansson. “Sometimes very much, other times not at all. Our next album might show even more of this. Time will tell.”

Regardless of where their next album takes them, Johansson is quick to explain that even though a Kongh song has been recorded and released, it is never really finished. “We’ve rarely played any of our songs live before they’ve been released, so when we release them and finally start to play them live, they often take new turns and find their way through new shapes and tempos. It’s nothing we plan, it just happens out of natural progression. I guess none of our songs ever get completely finished, they always trudge on!”

‘Shadows of the Shapeless’ is now available on Trust No One Recordings and is also available on 2xLP double gatefold vinyl from Music Fear Satan.

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