Review: Gurt – Bongs Of Praise 7

  • Gurt
  • Bongs Of Praise
  • Stoner/Sludge/Religious 
  • London, UK
  • September 6, 2019
  • 7/10

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Gurt are back, a sludgy UK band I’ve posted on IG in the past for their wonderful album covers, something they’ve kept consistent. Presentation is an important thing to Gurt and we are all rewarded for this. They have a unique style that’s difficult to pin down with elements varying between doom metal, death rock and punk and just a lot. They are a lot. Bongs Of Praise in particular is a weed fuelled doom/sludge album that will be a sure hit for stoner doom fans.

Album artwork by Heavy Hand

Praise be the stoner for this is weed worshipping metal. In a very literal sense, hence the religious music tag, they present the stoner concept with the same storytelling and presentation of something divine or sacred. This is represented with the religious language used but also the symbolism of the artwork with what is essentially a giant church organ bong. It’s pretty awesome and definitely helps to bring its own presence to a genre that can very easily be stale memeing.

Vocally the style shifts a bit between forms of softer and harsher doom. For me the best we’re the harsher parts that touched on my favorite genre, death doom. Eventually it evens out to resemble their 2017 release Skullosis, the signature style of the vocalist is a strange one that I have a hard time finding a comparison for. The only album that comes to mind is 2018’s Down Below by Tribulation (Review).

The second half starts to feel a bit long, forcing me to check the length of the album and it’s only 45 minutes. The album seems to have a bit of a momentum crisis towards the end, with it not really being the same record we got at the start. I did end up with the urge to skip two tracks and it was always the same two tracks every listen, just the last minute or so that dragged on a riff a bit too long or a groove that rubbed me the wrong way like a volatile cat. With that said the ending track “Bongs Of Praise” is a strong return to form for the album and possibly my favourite track overall.

It’s a good album, just not my favorite Gurt album. It looks nice on vinyl and I can safely recommend it to all stoner doom fans.

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