There is no denying we have a major soft spot here for British industrial-doomer Concrete Lung though that pleasurable weakness might be as much from the concussion from listening to thementally devouring, physically punishing sounds spawn as any lustful inclinations. There is something about its dissonance soaked invention and vitriol fuelled imagination which gets under the skin and inflames our own emotive quarrels; a connection which has never been stronger than with the project’s new album Fumes. Like its title might suggest, it is a suffocating severely invasive affair, debilitating and cancerous, and oh so irresistible.
The successor to 2014 leviathan Tolerance & Dependency, the nerve shredding Fumes sees Ed Oxime at his most sonically corrosive and emotively discordant yet but equally at his most destructively virulent to date. In their own ways, each of the seven tracks within the album stalk and hunt down the listener, devouring their light and feeding on their weaknesses but in turn sparking a cathartic release as potent as that you imagine the pair found giving birth to Fumes.
As its predecessors, Fumes does not want to be liked nor does it care the emotional waste its ruinous exploits cause but as opener The Harbinger proves, if it’s kind of raw attrition and toxic sufferance is your masochistic poison the rewards are exhilarating. It rumbles into view, like a distant portentous storm with swift sonic winds to the fore. Its cavernous air soon becomes a senses smothering cloud of mordant noise, industrial death knells clanging as the track nags and niggles its way into the psyche. Equally the vocals lay a caustic glaze on the infernal incursion, the pressure and animosity intense yet infectiously virulent.
Of course there is no respite as Spinning In The Grave prowls in straight after and it too gives no inch as it consumes the senses in sound as vocals and words unleash their antipathy. Equally though, it has its own death dealing swing, heavy rapacious grooves winding rather than swaying around ears but with a contagiousness which cannot help but infest song, vocals, and listener alike. It grinds the defences down, though admittedly a willing submission just waiting to grab the salacious manipulations on offer; they then asphyxiated by the tsunami of sonic jaundice brought by When The Blind Man Sees You. Its lumbering pestilence is equally addictive, preying on thoughts and emotions whilst seducing with its senses scarring funereal swing and though for over seven minutes it crawls over the listener, it just leaves too soon.
Dissension I is just a carnal schism uniting noise and fear in a sonic smog of dissent, softening up already wasted senses further for A Thousand Years to venomously scrutinize and erode layer by layer with its industrial acid before the wounds are further decomposed by the post punk entangled, doom spawned album title track. There is an early Killing Joke hue to the tenebrific skulk of the track’s climate and gait, its compelling echo adding to the sublimely lethal lure of a highly addictive consumption.
Ending on the starkly raw dissolution of, well everything with Dissension II, the perpetual scourge of Fumes is filthily primal, severely uncomfortable, and permanently scarring but one of the most exhilarating violations heard pretty much since Concrete Lung’s last intrusion. The band has become more creatively dangerous and sonically insightful so beware, be brave, and go enjoy.
Fumes is out now through Armalyte Industries; available @ https://concretelung.bandcamp.com/album/fumes
Pete RingMaster 01/12/2017
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