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Gongzilla - Suffer CD (album) cover




Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.96 | 34 ratings

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Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer
4 stars I must admit that when I got this one I had no idea they were distant relatives of GONG. Of course once I knew this then their band name made perfect sense to me. There are four guys here who played on GONG's "Expresso II" album in Benoit Moerlin, Allan Holdsworth, Bon Lozaga and Hansford Rowe. And this album does seem like a modern take on those Pierre Moerlin led GONG albums of the mid to late seventies. I should mention that the three composers are Lozaga, Moerlin and Rowe and they share it fairly evenly.

"Gongzilla" opens with some atmosphere before we get some fire from Holdsworth then the band kicks in. This is surprisingly heavy. We get some percussion then the guitar is back leading. Nice growly bass 2 minutes in as well. I'm slightly reminded of KING CRIMSON after 3 minutes, especially when that evil sounding guitar starts making noise. Holdsworth is ripping it up before 6 minutes. This is the heaviest tune on the album. "Bad Habits" is more what I expected from this group. A more typical sounding Fusion and check out Moerlin on the vibes as he leads the way with the bass and drums for a while. Then Holdsworth starts to solo. Nice. Just an excellent track. "Sing" is where they slow things down. And no there's no singing here, just a relaxed and slow paced tune. "Gongzilla's Dilemma" is better. I like the drumming and vibes here. Oh and the bass too that joins in is impressive. The guitar is here around 2 1/2 minutes. It becomes heavy 3 minutes in just like the opening track with some wicked guitar from Lozaga. "Mr. Sinister Minister" has some funky bass with the drums and guitar standing out. Things become more intense after 3 minutes and check out Lozaga lighting it up on guitar.

"Almost You" features lots of intricate percussion and drumming a minute in. I like the guitar playing over top. Some beautiful guitar work late from Holdsworth. A laid back and enjoyable song. "Mezzanine" opens with drums before the bass takes over, then the guitar and more follow. Some funk 1 1/2 minutes in as the xylophone comes and goes. Slarts was right in his review about Lozaga and Holdsworth sounding very similar. Lozaga sounds great here on guitar. "Hip-Hopnosis" sounds really interesting early on. I'm not sure what some of this is then the guitar (Lozaga) kicks in before a minute. Great sound here. So much going on a minute later. A calm 3 minutes in then we get some inventive guitar before what sounds like electronics takes over. The guitar is back. This is one of my favourites. "Allan Qui ?" is no doubt titled so because of Holdsworth. It's the longest song at almost 7 1/2 minutes and the guitar is the focus throughout. "Senna" is led by the drums and bass throughout as we get this determined rhythm happening. I like it ! "Camel" is just 26 seconds of intricate sounds while "End" ends the album with just 5 seconds of someone counting to five in French twice.

A very enjoyable album. Thanks Julian !

Mellotron Storm | 4/5 |


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