If you have your lungs full of concrete and know this industrial wrecking crew you are not going to want to rest on your laurels if you fancy picking up this their fourth release. It is available only in the form of 100 limited editions ‘vinyl style’ gatefold CD editions with no availability on either vinyl or digital download at all. I guess having been sent this in digital form I am one of the few who will be able to hear it like this and although we tend to avoid reviewing such limited quality editions of things we have been championing this lot since the beginning and I did not want to miss out hearing these new tracks myself.
There are six tracks here, four of which are new, one is a remix and one ‘hidden’ for good measure. A high piercing sound sees longest number ‘User’ start to unspool as it is joined by a lone drum beat and clanks into a slow gnarly mechanical hellscape. Ed Oxime’s gruff vocal roar adds to the intensity and collaborator William Reiver’s sorrowful chants provide a maudlin atmosphere in the background. This is a robotic yet unstoppable slow pounding number that really weathers you down and soaks you up in its negativity throwing some strange noises into the mix that really hit with their strident sharp tones. After this slow abuse filled number we get faster with Self Shriek (Intensity) which is relentlessly heavy and reminds a bit of a headlong clash between US industrial act Bile, SPK and Leech Woman with its clanking machinery and sudden whir of what unsettlingly sounds like a dentistry drill. It is also worth noting that Alex B of Leech Woman was on hand not musically but as collaborator on the very fitting artwork here.
It is kind of impossible not to mention Godflesh but I have at least left it to track three when ‘Rot And Seethe’ pummels with some tribal drumming, jack hammering riffs and hefty vocal bellows. It’s all incredibly well-oiled and a real meaty number that will no doubt be a belting one live. Whilst this track is left loose with each of the parts having distinct voices ‘Waste’ mashes them all together and puts them into a compact crusher where they all merge in a slew of multi-layered noise and are churned out at the other end in a nice cuboid mass.
Flux was originally found as a demo version on the bands ‘Visions Of Hell’ album of 2011 and here it is a crushing, clanking, all consuming, destructive rage which even has a touch of very early Pitchshifter and Cubanate amidst its impenetrable heart. Finally we have the ‘hidden track’ which adds a surprise in the form of some rather impressive saxophone before coruscating noise and indignant yells fill up the void and silence is once again restored.
Well it’s hardly like I have to sell this but I certainly have been enjoying it on repeated spins and if you have never heard Concrete Lung before you should certainly give them a listen, even if you are not willing to get crushed in the stampede going for this particular release.
(7.5/10 Pete Woods)