Combining droning atmospheres, heavy meditational riffs to get lost in, psychedelic soundscapes, and reverberating vocals, BongBongBeerWizards have returned to the sludge doom scene with their third album Ampire, and it is quite possibly their best work yet. The trio formed in Dortmund in 2017 and they bring an array of sounds to their music with the inclusion of woodwind instruments (flute and saxophone). This makes for a unique and identifiable sound helping BongBongBeerWizards (in addition to their awesome band name) stand apart and bring something new and intriguing to the table.
The concept for Ampire is the age-old story of good versus evil. The band intended on creating a film concept around this where “…the counterparts of the evil are gathered on the highest summit in the form of priests, and the album tells of an endless pilgrimage towards the mountain summit where choirs are summoning the endless waves.” An experimental short film was created by artist Natalie Plaskura (who also created the cover image for the BongBongBeerWizard’s previous album, Albong) entitled “ŁOBYRA” with the soundtrack being a section of the song “Choirs & Masses” from Ampire. The music fits the video perfectly with the used segment demonstrating the band’s unique synth work adding futuristic and dystopian vibes. Each of the three tracks that make up this album take the listener on a journey as the movements ebb and flow with waves of calm sonic moments before crashing into thundering, marching riffs making the band’s vision for Ampire known.
It is difficult to pick a favorite track in Ampire as each flow together to create a story. Each listen of this album is a journey with something new to discover each time, and it is very easy to get lost in the music. BongBongBeerWizards prides themselves on having a “heavy meditational doom” sound and this description certainly fits the band and the music they create. Ampire is mostly instrumental as vocals are present, yet sparse. When they are heard, the vocals almost sound as though they are being delivered from a mountaintop, fitting into the band’s vision for the album. They echo and are carried off and fade with the instrumentation.
This band, that started off as a drinking fueled side project, has been on my radar since their start in 2019 with debut album BONG HIT WONDERS. I was first attracted to them by the song title “SATANIC BEER SLUTS” which feels like a slogan on a shirt I would get a Facebook ad for. I have been following their journey ever since and can see clear and impressive progression in these talented musicians. Since BongBongBeerWizard’s first release, the production quality has improved as well as the complexity of compositions making each album stronger and more dynamic. The number of tracks on each album keeps decreasing as well and I hope to one day see a release from this band that is one epic 40-minute-long track. For now, I believe that Ampire is BongBongBeerWizard’s best work yet and I will be sticking with these guys eagerly awaiting each new release to see what they create next. I know to expect more psychedelically amazing tunes in the future.