(By Damon ‘Gravitoyd’ Caraway, Staff Writer, RiffRelevant.com)
Opoponax Records release of the Phoenix, Arizona trio Goya‘s ‘Harvester Of Bongloads‘ in March 2017 gives us proof that where there’s smoke, there’s definitely a goddamned fire.
With ‘Harvester Of Bongloads‘ displaying cover art from Hunter Hancock, the recording and production of Joe Asselin, mastering from Dennis Pleckham, as well as producers Dalton Trumbo and Goya‘s own Jeff Owens, its result has a uniqueness to its harmonic destruction.
The beginning of the twenty-minute, three-part epic “Omen” is a slow inhale of ancient tones rife with earthiness and forgotten fears. It’s a journey into humanity’s early understanding of self and its place in the world, viewed through experiences of life and death.
The other songs on the album become very much a thematic continuation of these ideas, as they too are imbued with pagan overtones and primordial awe. Musically, “Harvester Of Bongloads” is the slow and unstoppable grinding of continental plates that pushes up mountains and causes the earth to quake.
At the time of recording, Goya is the trio of Jeff Owens on vocals and guitar, Sonny DeCarlo on bass, and drummer Nick Lose. DeCarlo and Lose come from dark depths with their low-end thunderous rumble and lightning strike percussion work, respectively. Owens senses well the backdrop laid down by the pair, and this becomes the stage for him to conjure the story of “Harvester of Bongloads.”
Owen’s guitar work is, at times, as subtle as a swooping hawk, at others it becomes a blood strewn, sword wielding barbarian cresting pile of dead: seeking to kill on both counts. Vocally, Jeff’s guttural growls and tonal resonance demand an audience. As a band, these guys fit their sound together very well, and from this merging threshed forth the “Harvester of Bongloads.”
Opoponax Records is also a brain-child creation of Jeff Owens, founded somewhat to ease the constraints of releasing his music via other labels. Whether that ease has been given or lessened by running his own label is not known. What we do know is his label certainly produces some beautiful releases, both to the ear and to the eye, including this latest Goya album. “Harvester of Bongloads.” is available in multiple formats and variants, plus digital download via their Bandcamp page.
As our own Leanne Ridgeway (Riff Relevant Founder/Chief Editor) stated when she summed up ‘Harvester Of Bongloads‘ for its multiple-month appearances on the Doom Charts this past Spring –
“Goya has smashed open the doors and bashed in the windows to shine a bright green beautiful light of miserable disgusted angst on all your fears. This is the sound of modern nightmares come alive, and it’s the most exquisite release I’ve heard from Goya to date.”
That it is. Listen for yourselves…
‘Harvester of Bongloads’ Track List:
1. Omen: I. Strange Geometry, II. Fade Away, III. Life Disintegrates
3. Misanthropy On High