Out of different musical backgrounds ranging from blues to grindcore, David Johansson and Tomas Salonen met in the spring of 2004 to set the grounds for what later would become Kongh. The ambition back then wasn’t really specific – they only knew that they wanted to play very loud and heavy, and to have a good time. For almost a year, the guys spent a couple of weekends a month in the rehearsal space, cranking out never-ending jams of loud riffage and sludgy heaviness just for the fun of it. It wasn’t until early 2005 that real songs with an actual flow came to life, and by early 2006, the beast had gotten itself the name Kongh, and with 4 mammoth songs ready to be exposed to the world, the first and only demo was recorded at Teknikkompaniet in Vetlanda.
Without ever having played a single show (except for a 10 person visit from the local mental hospital which actually occured once in 2005), the band (now expanded to a trio) released their demo without any expectations. But after having the demo out for no longer than a couple of weeks, the band had gotten a handful of very fine reviews and even some offers from various indie labels. Things moved on fast, resulting in more reviews, more offers from labels, a good bunch of satisfied listeners and also some live shows.
By the fall of 2006, Kongh had signed a deal with Stockholm’s Trust No One Recordings (Isis, Khanate, Switchblade, Breach) and spent the rest of the year finishing the material for their first album, including two (re-recorded) songs from the demo, and three newer ones. So in January 2007 they once again hit Teknikkompaniet in Vetlanda.
After the release of “Counting Heartbeats” on July 7th 2007, the band was graced with tons of rave reviews all over Europe, receiving top grades in the major rock/metal media. After being aired frequently by P3 Rock (Sweden’s 1 radio show for good music), they were also nominated for a P3 Guld award for “Best rock/metal album of 2007” along with Mustasch, Arch Enemy, Dark Tranquillity and Marduk. Many hours of 2007 and 2008 were spent on the Scandinavian and European roads (including a crowded performance at the awesome Roadburn Festival) together with bands like Switchblade and Ocean Chief, establishing the band as a unique and thunderous live act. They were also invited to be support for Neurosis and Cult Of Luna.
2008 also saw the band offering their first vinyl releases. A limited split LP with the Swedish brethren Ocean Chief, containing one epic 25 minute tune from each band, was released in early 2008 by Land O Smiles Records (Rwake, Middian, Unearthly Trance). So was the eagerly awaited 2xLP package of the “Counting Heartbeats” album (Sound Devastation Records) and a split 7” with Reno’s occult doomsters Witch-Lord.
By the end of 2008, Kongh had been established as a force to be reckoned with in the European metal scene. Despite not having released the album in America, the band was flown in to co-headline the Kuma Doom Fest in Chicago, sharing stage with Minsk, Yakuza and Lair Of The Minotaur among others.
In early 2009, it was time to record a second album. Once again they spent a few months at Teknikkompaniet in Vetlanda. The result came out as a 60 minute long opus consisting of five tracks representing a band that had taken a huge step forward since their debut. This riff-driven thunderstorm, entitled ”Shadows Of The Shapeless”, was released in Europe by Trust No One Recordings, and also saw the band getting a proper US release/distribution through Seventh Rule Recordings (Buried At Sea, Indian, Akimbo, Sweet Cobra).
Immediately after the release in May 2009, the album got frequent airplay in national Swedish radio, was given the #1 position in the ”Soundcheck” section of Close-Up Magazine (Scandinavias leading rock/metal magazine) for the second time, and Kongh got booked for some of Sweden’s biggest summer festivals, including Metaltown in Gothenburg. The reviews that followed the release in both Europe and North America were even more positive than before, and got the album straight into the spotlight of the scene.
With the magazines publishing features and great reviews, and with the fan amount increasing rapidly, the band was happy to do what they appreciate the most – get out on tour. Much of 2009 and parts of 2010 was spent on the road, resulting in about 70 shows in nearly 20 countries. Touring was kept a bit more limited in 2010, but a tour was made in the very north of Sweden with friends Moloken, as well as a summer tour in Europe, including a show at the Stoned From The Underground festival, sharing stage with Garcia Plays Kyuss, Weedeater, Ufomammut and more. Later on, the band also had the pleasure to tour Scandinavia together with Richmond’s Cough.
2011 has arrived, and with two earlier albums regarded very highly by many, and with plenty of new material written, the band is currently looking forward to recording their third full-length. Kongh will do a 5 week long European tour together with US doom metal legends YOB in September, and are planning to enter the studio later during the fall. Expect the next Kongh album to be released in 2012.
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