Concrete Lung – ‘Versions Of Hell’

“Brutal, deadly and delightful” is how Soundsphere Editor, Dom Smith, described Concrete Lung’s 2009 offering, Waste Of Flesh. And while he sure was on the money, we might suggest a […]

“Brutal, deadly and delightful” is how Soundsphere Editor, Dom Smith, described Concrete Lung’s 2009 offering, Waste Of Flesh. And while he sure was on the money, we might suggest a slight change to that epithet would be more fitting for their latest opus, Versions Of Hell. Try, instead, “Brutal, deadly and disturbing”…

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Yep, what we have here are towering, brooding slabs of sonic gothic architecture filtered through the crazed prism of some demented coldwave designer. Reliable sources tell us these boys are huge on the club circuit with DJs growing ever more resigned to repeated requests for a spin of Concrete Lung’s particular and highly distinctive brand of industrial assault or, as the band themselves describe their musings, “death industrial”.

 

A glance at the tracklisting leaves one in no doubt as to where these lads feel most at home. ‘Suicide High Rise’, ‘Dead In The Mind’ and ‘Wall Of Christ’ say one thing loud and clear; I don’t think we’re in Kansas anymore, Toto…

Vocally, there are lashings of death metal, punk and even rap, most notably during ‘Mind Eraser’. while musically the album retains the synthesis of industrial, electro, death metal, punk and coldwave that characterised the blueprint established on ‘Waste Of Flesh’.

 

Lest a mistaken impression of “more of the same” is hereby imparted, allow us to hastily qualify the aforementioned by pointing out that there is distinct progress here. Production values are higher and a degree of sophistication, only rarely glimpsed on the earlier work, is here a permanent presence. Remarkably, this has, in no way, lead to a dilution or softening of delivery. Not a chance. If anything, parts of ‘Versions Of Hell’ are even more brutal, albeit with that sophistication lending a much more subtle edge to the, frankly, ominous and disturbing atmosphere conjured up throughout.

 

It’s apparent that melody, at least in any conventional sense, is not a priority for Concrete Lung. However, rather than making a virtue out of necessity, it’s clear the band deliberately eschew such standard norms, preferring, instead, to create something much darker, more challenging and compelling. The Germans might have Rammstein but we’ve got Concrete Lung and while Jesus, sadly, declined their group application for the position of sunbeams on giving this platter a spin – his loss is our gain. The rest of the competition now have their work severely cut out to match up to the magnificently violent beauty of ‘Versions Of Hell’. Intense doesn’t even begin to describe the Concrete Lung experience. It’s great to have you back, lads. As for you, dear readers; welcome to Hell…

 

For more information visit the official MySpace.

 

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