Tuesday 2 December 2014

Review: Concrete Lung – 'Tolerance & Dependency'

'Tolerance & Dependency'

Despite the duo of Ed Oxime and William Riever imposing major geographical hurdles for themselves since their respective relocations, the all out assault of Concrete Lung continues unfettered. The band's punishing slow blend of industrial, metal and grindcore continues to roll for like a tank crushing everything beneath it with their new long-player 'Tolerance & Dependency'.

Anyone looking for dance beats, catchy melodies and sing-a-long choruses had best look elsewhere. Concrete Lung once again bring an intense formula that picks up where their 2013 EP 'Subtract Nerve' left off. The sludgy riffs of Godflesh, the intensity of Nailbomb, and the acidic industrial kick of Ministry come together for a heavy half hour assault.

'Engine Vein' kicks the album off with a nice doomy riff before descending into a fist-in-the-air show of heaviness that could knock walls down. The heavy assault continues as 'Die Dreaming' follows on with a more pronounced groove set against some serious death metal vocals courtesy of Oxime. 'Chemical Muzzle' brings things back toward the industrial with some nice noisy elements added to the bass-led groove.

This move toward the industrial aspect of the band's sound is continued into the sample-laden 'Self-Shriek' (Self Murder)' which is perhaps the most balanced song in terms of the band's most prominent elements and as such makes a fine centrepiece to the album. 'Plastic Mind' follows nicely with its ominous bell tolling before breaking out the erratic and crazy beats over the slow and dark riffs to great effect. 'Closed Mouth' then rounds things off with another slow and nasty metal bludgeoning that segues into a rather tranquil and somewhat folky outro.

Just when you think you have Concrete Lung's number, they throw you something you weren't expecting. 'Tolerance & Dependency' is by far their most polished sounding effort with a great production and mixing job throughout that brings out the nastiness of their sound far more than any lo-fi production could.

There is a hell of a lot going on here. 'Tolerance & Dependency' is a dark, heavy and challenging album. But it is one that really shows how great Oxime and Riever are as a unit. The album feels fresh exciting, and should take them to the next level.  

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