An interstellar cosmic delight that explodes a supernova sound beautifully balanced with the soft twinkling of milky way smooth. Pure ecstasy in sonic bliss, with a climax so bone shatteringly powerful it will leave you panting and ravenously hungry to instantly hit repeat and take the exhilarating ride all over again.
It begins with a discordant hum that hints at the beast that lurks at the songs heart, but this only lasts for a fleeting moment, before the happy skip and skitter of the core chords and melodic leanings are brought in with the tickle of the guitar and vocals. The back and forth between the male and female voices sounds like a conversation between NASA and some newly discovered galactic entity.
There is something ancient, mythic, and magical to the female vocals, they are lofty, epic, and soaring. Where as there is a fuzz dialed into the soft spoken delivery of the male part. This plays out through the beginning of the track with only the occasional tease of what is yet to come with a feral guitar riff interlaced and paced perfectly in this first act.
When the freakout finally fully hits it is like the track is given the jet fuel to go straight into hyperspace. Where we were once floating happily in zero gravity and playing among the stars we are now diving head first into the heart of a black hole. The difference in the depth and decibel of the track is dizzying, and yet it manages to pull enough of the thread of its build through with it to feel cohesive and concrete. It is never broken and the interweaving is masterful in both the mixing and the music itself.
At around the 2:05 mark is when we fully submerged into the darker, dazier, and more dangerous world of the song. The male vocals shift into a more classic rock’n’roll belt, finally displaying the power and passion that have been lurking there all along waiting for the audio environment to warrant their full reveal. It is majestic and masterfully done, we barrel through this alternate dimension until it climaxes in a guttural scream that would make Robert Plant proud.
Coming out the other side we are drifting through space once again, but now we know of the cosmic horror that lies at its heart, the playful refrains that we heard before now hum with a threatening frequency. It is an absolute joy to hear the truly epic journey the ‘Gong Song‘ takes us on. The lyrics are abstract, poetic, weighted, and deftly deployed. They tell a story of the creative journey and the crushing weight of human existence. “Tomorrow is all I fear” is a line that stands out and repaints the monster lurking at the heart of the track not as some cosmic horror, but a very real one that we all can relate to.
This is prog rock that understands both the fuzzy dark grit of bared teeth as well as the happy jazzy wink of its softer side beckoning you in ever closer. When it does reveal its fangs, it has its prey primed for the kill, right in its lair, stroking its belly, completely unaware of the threat it truly poses. There is genuine artistry to be able to do this right and the ‘Gong Song’ has it executed this hunt perfectly.