The Great Barrier Reefer
Studio album by Bongripper
Released September 18, 2006
Recorded August 2005
Genre Doom metal, drone, sludge metal, post-rock, stoner metal, instrumental rock
Length 79:22
Label Independent
Producer Bongripper
Bongripper chronology
The Great Barrier Reefer
Hippie Killer
The Great Barrier Reefer is the debut studio album by American instrumental band Bongripper, released on September 18, 2006. It comprises a single 79-minute song, but is divided into three sections that are longer than 20 minutes on the band's Bandcamp page.

The album was reissued as one track on CD and on double vinyl between 2008 and 2012.

Background and Recording Edit

Background Edit

Bongripper formed in 2005 by guitarists Nick Dellacroce and Dennis Pleckham, bassist Ronald Petzke, drummer Daniel O'Connor and their unnamed vocalist jammed for an intended practice session for a death metal band. "We probably just jammed for who knows how long," O'Connor says. This practice session changed drastically once O'Connor's double kick pedal broke and the singer left and moved back to his Detroit home, with the music slowing and deviating from there. "I turned up my amp—I said, 'Let's play some fucking doom,'" Dellacroce says.

Recording Edit

The band went to the studio in August 2005 to record the album, which would be a single song. They decided that it would last 79 minutes in order to compete with Sleep's third album Dopesmoker. Its working title was "Bongripper", in reference to the band's name, which started as a joke when they formed. "We were having a conversation about how Sleep didn't fill up an entire CD with Dopesmoker," Pleckham says. "They wasted what, eight minutes? Whatever time's left over, we were joking about how much they left off. I believe Nick said, 'Yeah, let's do an 80-minute track called "Bongripper."'"

When the recording sessions were finished, the title was changed to The Great Barrier Reefer and the band had no plans to release it. Dellacroce sent the album to some friends through AIM, and that was enough. "Next thing I knew it was popping up online that people were sharing it to everyone," he says. "It was just kind of weird. The stuff that we did and enjoyed doing—that people liked it."

Composition Edit

Although the album is listed as having three separate tracks on Bandcamp due to size limitations, it is actually one long track. Despite this, each track is lengthy in its own right and each song is no less than 25 minutes long. The spoken lyrics at the bluesy intro of the song are taken from the Book of Revelation, chapter 6.

Musical style Edit

Musically, The Great Barrier Reefer is a doom metal album with elements of sludge metal, post-rock, stoner metal and drone. The sound changes frequently, and also slips into moments of chaos and noise, with sophisticated drumming that alternates silence and blastbeats, a midway break of blues riffs followed by the most torrential riffing, leading into a stately and effervescent doom finale, regardless of what the dogmas prescribe.

Track listing Edit

No. Title Length
1. "The Great Barrier Reefer"
  • "I. Section 1"
  • "II. Section 2"
  • "III. Section 3"  
  • 25:10
  • 28:40
  • 25:32
Total length:

Personel Edit


  • Dennis Pleckham – guitar
  • Nick Dellacroce – guitar
  • Ronald Petzke – bass
  • Daniel O'Connor – drums

Production staff

  • Dennis Pleckham – recording, mastering
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