(Our riff-loving dope/doom maven fetusghost has returned to NCS with the following lively review of a new album by Germany’s Ølgod, which was released in late May.)
Kiel, Germany puts THC in the water. What other explanation could there be for such great dope-loving doom calling the city home? Ok, fine, maybe a sample size of two is too small, but Earthbong (more on them in a moment) and Ølgod traffic in the sort of resinous riffage that stoners love, and aside from unchill war-themed black metal from Endstille, I can’t name any other bands from Kiel. So it’s decided! “Kiel: Get High-drated” will be the new city motto. That one is on the house, City Council.
Ølgod‘s sound is appropriately rock ‘n’ roll, loud and loose, like a practice-space jam with a bit more post-production polish. If you love loud, slow riffs and plodding, heavy drums, and German dudes yelling at you, you’ll have a fine time here. This is where the underground thrives.
Speaking of underground, this release is brought to us by Ogorekords, founded by Earthbong’s guitarist, Claas. The label is slowly building a stable of stoner-friendly metal and rock, but Ølgod may be the meanest of the bunch, sonically of course.
The band loves to riff hard, but they definitely have a sense of humor. “Quicksand” opens and closes with very topical samples from Mel Brooks‘ classic, Blazing Saddles. And of course there’s the delightful promo photo, direct from their little sister’s bedroom, I’m assuming.
Ølgod also know that brief respites from maximum fury enhance the power when the riffs return. “Ølgod” is a perfect example, opening with a distortion-free, lightly strummed riff opening the proceedings, before the band crashes in at full fuzzy volume. Then they drop out the distortion again, and the band lead a wholesome singalong. The reverb in the room when they dial back the distortion adds to the live feel, and again it’s a good thing. Polished tech death bands do their thing, and grungy sludge ones do too. It’s that variety that keeps all of us metalheads coming back for more, and exploring every dank corner of the world for that next hit.
If you are looking for some kindred spirit reference points, Ølgod summons thoughts of Weedeater, Cough, and the almighty Bongzilla, through a German garage-rock lens. Their sludge riffs pack a thunderous wallop when they crank it to 11. Would you like some tasteful solos as well? Fuck you, we’re riffing here! Frills are for fancy bands, and Ølgod is green-collar metal. (Green-collar is just blue collar but stoned. I will understand if no one ever uses this term again.)
Ølgod closes with the nearly nine-minute “Grantsch,” a wonderful slow burner of gradually evolving, powerful riffs. The kind that you end up humming later as they worm into your brain. Simplicity through bludgeoning.
So spark one, riff hard, giggle a bit, keep on riffing, and get on with your business. The 32-minute runtime is a perfect length to satiate. And since the German language loves to mash words together to create new and useful compounds, we can steal that idea and sum up Ølgod in just one word: fundopedoomrock.