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Album Review

In a somewhat confusing next step from 2002's arguably career-best Gateway opus, 2004's Apogee features a somewhat haphazard grab bag of studio and live cuts from stoner sludge-masters Bongzilla. The fact that most of these hefty seven tracks have not been readily available to fans prior to Apogee's release is definitely a bonus (exceptions like "Witch Weed" and "Dealer McDope" were released early on in the band's career as vinyl 7" singles), but the overall absence of an album-like cohesion here can often make for distracted listening. Bongzilla's probably unhealthy habit (one of many, we're sure) of latching onto a single, vertigo-inducing riff for ten-plus minutes at a time (see the cleverly titled "H.P. Keefmaster" and "Grim Reefer") certainly poses a challenge to the unprepared, and even those pre-equipped with industrial-sized bongs may find their minds wandering despite the generally incomprehensible, but otherwise sobering, spine-shivering shrieking of frontman Mike "Muleboy" Makela. Thankfully, Bongzilla's typical fans are a resilient bunch, and will likely get off big time on Apogee's live second half — this being the first official release to contain such samples of the band as heard in their on-stage element. All others are referred to the aforementioned Gateway for their initiation to the smoky and dingy basement of sound haunted by Bongzilla.


Formed: Madison, WI

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Madison, WI's Bongzilla specialize in uncommonly heavy and doomy sludge-core dedicated to their one and only love: weed. Formed in the mid-'90s by Mike "Muleboy" Makela (guitar/vocals), Jeff Schultz (guitar), Nate Dethlefsen (bass), and Mike Henry (drums), the group followed its first demo with 1998's Methods for Attaining Extreme Altitudes EP. This, in turn, was followed by a string of abusively heavy, corrosively down-tuned...
Full bio
Apogee, Bongzilla
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  • 8,99 €
  • Genres: Rock, Music, Metal
  • Released: 11 May 2001

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