Raedon Kong is a pair of musicians who on the evidence of their self-titled EP, strives to create apocalyptic sonic soundscapes which work on the listener on as many levels as there are rich dramatic layers within the incendiary expanses. Their latest release gnaws on the senses whilst challenging and eroding emotions but all the while unleashes sounds and an impacting imagination which is impossible not to be impressed by. The release is drenched in excellent corrosive discord but also creates melodic flames which though as acidic as the sonic storm around them is destructive, rewards with an enterprise which is deeply satisfying and inspiring.
The Lafayette, Louisiana duo of Stephen Sheppert (guitars/synth/vocals) and David Leonard (drums/vocals), former members of Collapsar, Hooves, and Icepick Revival, going by the EP experiment with styles, sounds, and influences to create their own tempests of noise, passion, and intensity. The likes of Zeni Geva, Neurosis, Mastodon, Isis, and King Crimson have been mentioned as suggested comparisons but Raedon Kong holds its own singular presence within such flavours. The EP creates a bruising and enveloping furnace of psychedelic and progressive sounds which are toweringly heavy, melodically burning, and driven by a doom metal gait. Lyrically and musically it is also stark and brooding, an apocalyptical landscape as jolting atmospherically as it is sonically turbulent.
The release opens with Heavy Lite, a track which emerges from a deeply resonating and intrusive pungent grasp of noise to unleash a maelstrom of bedlamic invention and energy. The song at this early point is an avalanche of tumbling rhythms, incisive melodic flames, and an ever twisting surge of ideas which are defined yet manically unleashed. Soon the listener finds themselves within the eye of the storm as the track nestles within a shimmering heat and slow soft vocals wash gently upon the ambience. It is short lived though as thumping predatory drums stalk the now ignited air and riffs plunder the instilled warmth with malice and searing craft. It is an immense track and start, basically an instrumental and a piece which has thoughts and emotions, let alone senses riled up and unreservedly intrigued.
End Of Days walks into place next with inviting guitar caresses under sonic flames which glow above their beauty. It is an inviting start which explodes into a muscular hunger and intensity to further captivate if equally intimidate. The track has a definite Killing Joke feel to it in places with the vocals reminiscent of Jaz Coleman, and the longer it wraps its sinews around the ear the more compelling and potent it becomes. It ends as it began with a mild wind upon the ear to bookend the wonderful havoc between, and emerges by its end as a track which is hard to shake off emotionally and physically.
As potent in rich diversity as it is in intensive confrontation, the release offers a squall of progressive imagination next within Forgotten Son, a psychedelic flamed piece which enchants and brands the listener from start to finish. Across its protrusive journey the track scars and slices through the senses, its acerbic melodic invention and sabre sharp guitar slashes as damaging and invigorating as the rugged energy. Like each song and the release as a whole, the track reveals more with each burdensome engagement but the rewards leave the extended effort undeniably worthwhile, not that listening to Raedon Kong or their release is a trial in any sense of the word.
Closing with the masterful Ash Is The Omen, a song as delicate as morning dew and as fearsome as an avalanche, the EP from Raedon Kong is an impactful treat for all lovers of extreme, inventively embolden, and imaginatively creative music. The release is like a four headed hydra, each mazard an inciting antagonism for which only a full welcome is offered.
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