Have you ever been kicked in the shin? Not just someone’s errand shod footstep brushing your leg, I’m talking about a thick, hard, unforgiving soled workboot buried into your shin then sharply scraped down, digging its teeth in and grinding nerves and skin against bare bone with a fiery inward pressure. Take that feeling spread it out over 29 minutes, and you have Concrete’s latest release Free Us from Existence.
If you somehow genetically crossed Pantera, an assault rifle, and a black metal blast beat you would produce the sound Concrete has harnessed here. They bring an intense, and almost cartoonishly aggressive and brash face pounding mix of hardcore vocals, black metal drums and tremolo focused, dissonant guitar riffs. Although it sounds overwhelming, they have an incredible ability to hit the listener with many harsh elements then ease off the gas, slow down, sync up the guitar and bass guitar and stomp on heavy riffs, a trick Pantera was known for and perfected. This album is the sound of “it going off” when two groups of soccer hooligans clash, music for mayhem.
The first track “Executing Vengeance” whispers sweet lullabies through its lyrical musings like “F*ck you, f*ck your friends! Rest in sh*t motherf*cker!”. That is a pretty good litmus test as to what kind of music we have on our hands here. Although savage and feral, the music is actually well thought out and executed.
“Starving Serpent” has a particularly clever use of a guitar riff that seamlessly melds and warps from a double time staccato black metal punch to a thrashy headbanger of a song and back. This track proves the raw talent of their drummer, Ryan Centurioni, as he shifts from thrash to hardcore to black metal, all crammed into a three and a half minute song. Somehow he finds little pocketed moments to twist and thrive in.
“Parasite” kicks off with fat bass that clears the path for death metal vocals, all glued together with a sorrow-yoked doom riff. Not only does Concrete exhibit their ability to morph trademarks of different genres together effortlessly; they also show their ability to alter tempo from an almost unbearable speed and then drop back into groove metal — play then wait, play then wait — style of riffing.
It is short, complex, powerful, and ruthlessly aggressive. Dark music for dark times. Either get swept up in the tidal wave that is Free Us From Existence or get out of the way, it will destroy you.
Out now via: Black Voodoo/Irish Voodoo Records and Blood Blast Distribution
- Executing Vengeance
- Starving Serpent
- Path of Fire
- Psychological Crucifixtion
- World Tomb
- Aphotic Mirror