Bonginator - The Intergalactic Gorebong of Deathpot (Cover Artwork)


The Intergalactic Gorebong of Deathpot (2023)

Barbaric Brutality

I’m not entirely sure that I need to explain a huge amount about the way this record sounds, for the most part. The name of both band and record, the label that’s releasing this and the artwork probably do most of that work for me, let’s be honest. But if that was entirely the case, then I don’t think I’d have bothered selecting this for review.

Yes, this is death metal of the somewhat silly variety, but that’s not to say that it lives and dies exclusively by the strength of that silliness. Even if it did, then it might still fare quite well, as this is a fully committed concept album. I won’t talk you through the premise because the Intro track does that very well indeed through deployment of a wilfully cheesy voiceover that touches on weed (duh…), bongs, space travel, bowel functions and various other things that are typically obsessed over by teenage boys. But after that, a majority of the record is far more intent on delivering the kind of death metal with hardcore tendencies that has become increasingly de rigeur in recent years. But as you might expect, we’re more in the same arena as Sanguisugabogg and 200 Stab Wounds here than Gatecreeper or Fuming Mouth. The vocals are deep, guttural, and occasionally dally into the ‘gurgling’ end of the death metal spectrum as well. I know that there will be people out there reading this, even death metal fans, who are thinking ‘This isn’t going to be for me…’. And with songs like “420lb Poop”, you could well be right.

The musical canvas, however, might keep you on board to some extent. We’ll come to the core sound of Bonginator soon, but first of all, I want to flag the amount of electronics in play. The Intro track, as ludicrous as it is, is entirely electronic. And then “Blunt Smoke Interlude 1” is actually a very well-produced electronic interlude without the silliness. And at 3 minutes long, it’s certainly not an afterthought; and it offers a pleasant counterpoint and palate-cleanser compared to the band’s home turf of unabashedly mad ‘Two-Stepping Neon Weed Death’ to use the band’s own nomenclature.

And so it all boils down to your threshold for the silliness, really. If you’re ok with it, then there is a really fun, sonically crushing death metal record at the core, here. If however, the wilfully puerile focus on weed and poop is simply a bridge too far, then it basically infects the remainder of the record and renders it kind of unlistenable. Personally, I listen to a lot of death metal and grind bands where wackiness (for want of a better word) plays a part and although I’d probably prefer it not to be the entire thrust of a band’s sound, concept, etc I can find a way to enjoy the parts of it that aren’t overtly childish. But even then, I can find it detracting from my enjoyment.

To their credit though, Bonginator aren’t exactly going for subtlety. They’re releasing a record with this name and concept, on 4/20, probably hoping for like-minded stoner death metal heads to have a good time with it whilst blazing and head-banging to their heart’s content. And I find it difficult to criticise them for that. I don’t know that the theme is sustainable by any measure, but for now, if you like weed, silly stuff and death metal, then yeah. You’re probably going to like this.