Concrete Lung – Tolerance & Dependency

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If fans of Concrete Lung thought their uncompromising sound could not get any more corrosive and emotionally destructive then new EP Tolerance & Dependency is going to leave them shell-shocked and blissful. The six track provocation is a scourge of sonic voracity and imaginative violation, the duo of Ed Oxime (vocals/guitars) and William Riever (bass) finding new imagination and despair in their creativity and music to explore. As ever a Concrete Lung encounter is not for the faint hearted but for a tempest of industrial grindcore and death metal veined hardcore, it is pure ruinous manna.

Since signing with independent label Armalyte Records in 2010, a year also seeing the Manchester, UK hailing band’s debut EP Waste Of Flesh, Concrete Lung swiftly garnered critical and fan acclaim with their Ministry, Skinny Puppy, and early Pitchshifter inspired provocation. Live too the band only impressed and ignited the passions, the sharing of stages with the likes of The Young Gods, Funker Vogt, Leæther Strip, Grendel, Agonoize, and Front Line Assembly gracing their first few years. First album Versions Of Hell in 2011 reinforced and accelerated the band’s emerging presence whilst the Die Dreaming single the following year, and the Subtract Nerve in 2013 put the band under a fiercer spotlight and into the nightmares of an increasing fan base. As suggested, Tolerance & Dependency is the band corrupting another level in their sound and extreme aural hostilities generally, a continuation of its predecessor in theme and intent but reaching into the darkest corners of their rage, animosity, and merciless creativity.

Though both its members are now located wide apart, Australia and Sweden to be exact, Concrete Lung feel even more bonded and vindictive in sound and emotional rancor, opener Engine CL_TD_Cover_ArtVein swiftly stirring up ears and attention with its initial sonic lure and lead into a heavy handed prowl of ravenous yet seductive enterprise amidst predatory rhythms. The first impacting move in evidence is the live drums on the song and release which replace their until now ever present drum machine. It gives the track a spite and intensity, which was never lacking in the band’s sound previously, more bite and bad blooded ferocity. Soon the prowl slips into a just as menacing stroll, beats and riffs as imposing as ever and Oxime’s vocals raw and compelling venom. As it plays with its assault and expels a horde of inescapable hooks, the track has ears ringing and psyche cowering, its black heart exuding pained expression and emotion.

It is a pungent and striking start but just the appetiser for the dual brilliance of Die Dreaming Pt. II and Chemical Muzzle. The first crawls over the senses with an opening guitar snarl and a scuzzy bassline which has a flavour of early Wire to its very dirty temptation, the first of a torrent of baits band and track ensnare the passions with. The death seeded scourge of the Concrete Lung sound has the main voice as the song smothers and oppresses thoughts and senses, yet a nagging groove and barbarous baiting equally ignites lustful hunger for the infestation of sonic and impassioned malevolence. It is a brute of a proposition, primal and insatiable, as well as simple addiction, whilst its successor from a similar canvas of intent and maliciousness casts its own distinctive violation. It is arguably the track with the thickest toxin of punk to it, vocals and bass bruising the senses with a wall of intimidation from its first breath but with a contagiousness which only has the listener embracing it with willing submission, the track is a rabid seducing of jaundiced tempting.

   Self-Shriek (Self Murder) with its sonic and emotional detestation keep thoughts and feelings ruffled and engrossed. The crawling demonic tone of the vocals play with post punk shadows and doom soaked ambience within a unrelenting suffocation of sound and intensity. It is a riveting, hypnotic drama and trespass of the senses as well as further thick evidence of the band’s bold exploration of themselves and sound. Its erosive smog seeps into the portentous and cavernous depths of the following Plastic Mind too, but rapidly immersed into an industrial swamp of abrasing enterprise. As the last, the exceptional track is a slow smother of ears and beyond, its serpentine breath and sonic acidity a hope swallowing animus creeping note by note, syllable by syllable.

     Tolerance & Dependency is brought to a close by Closed Mouth, a track with the kind of infectious simplicity which historically has bred nursery rhythms at the heart of another unstoppable oncoming of an emotionally loathing and aurally consumptive wave. The track is quite simply an unavoidable intrusive seduction for those with a penchant for cruel invention.

Concrete Lung leaves every emotion ransacked and sound twisted upon their new violation, their most potent and violently compelling triumph yet. They just get better and nastier with each release, which after this makes the next equally as appetising and fearsome.

Tolerance & Dependency is released via Armalyte Industries @ 12am UK time Sunday 30th November and will be exclusive at http://concretelung.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/concrete.lung

RingMaster 28/11/2104

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System:FX – Twentyfirst Century

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     Twentyfirst Century, the third EP from UK industrial antagonists System:FX, is one of those releases which as it ravages and enthrals the ear feels like it is standing astride the senses with a sledgehammer of sound and wash of melodic animosity. It is a collection of colossal songs which seem to come at the body and those beleaguered senses from every angle and through every pore whilst treating the bruising with invigorating and refreshing radiance. Already used to strong acclaim upon their steady and rapidly ascending rise the London duo have taken their sound and stature to another level with the new EP, giving it a spite and anger that provokes from start to finish whilst unleashing the most potent rewards.

Formed in 2011, System:FX has already set stages alight alongside the likes of Panzer AG, 32Crash, DAF, Client, Implant, Grendel, Assemblage 23, Nitzer Ebb, Combichrist, Leaether Strip, Uberbyte, Inertia, Deviant UK, Cybercide, Crash Symptom and many more, each performance adding to their increasing reputation. Last year saw the band playing Resistanz 2012 as Phil Barry’s (Be My Enemy, Cubanate) live band whilst this year at the same event their new EP felt the hunger of fans as they clamoured for its purchase, something which is going to be emulated one suspects as the release works its way into the passions and psyche of not only the UK industrial scene but the world. Consisting of Steve Alton (vocals/guitar/programming), who recently also linked up with Fredrik Croona in the latter’s project Cynical Existence, and Debs (drums/backing vocals), with the band expanding to a trio for live performances, System:FX go for the jugular with Twentyfirst Century, its sinew driven body of sound and the lyrical/sonic intensity inspired by the disappointment of adult hood and seemingly seeded in the memories of the London Riots, clenching its jaws around the throat of the senses and thoughts never relinquishing the grip until the last note has seared its imprint into place. No mercy is given, or wanted when a release sounds and feels this good.

Surrounded by the dissident calls of the populace opener Vengeance courts the ear with scratchy guitar and equally blister electronic lures before exploding into a storm of thumping hungry rhythms awash with deliciously fiery melodic bait. It is an instantly hypnotic temptation, its touch a barracking intensity on the senses but accompanied by a colour fuelled seduction which ensures any discomfort is a prize worth taking. Just as passions and thoughts have no resistance to the intensity and empowering provocation of the song, limbs are mere pawns to the heavy trodden dance beats and the epidemically compelling sonically sculpted enticement. It is a maniacal puppeteer leaving a breathless and fully satiated victim in its undertow.

The following Fire, skirts around the ear initially with a scattering of sonic steps punctured by muscular strokes before letting the intensity off of its rein to prowl and intimidate. With samples adding further menace and intrigue the track is a rapacious journey through the shadows and blackest corners of society, its Prodigy like urgency and punk toxin aided by the snarling vocals, a belligerent poison to the seemingly warm electronic embrace. Though not as impossibly addictive as its predecessor the track is a thoughtful imagination spiking treat which evokes and narrates its intent superbly.

The title track like the first brings the sound of streets in turmoil to the ear to compliment the rigorously persistent start of worrisome electronics and riffs framed in unbreakable rhythmic caging. Danger and unrest stroll hand in hand with the pulse bursting stomp of the song whilst the sonic heat rinses the air of the song in impacting and emotively inspired imagery, helped by the continuing samples of sirens. An intensive imposition on apathy and assumptions, the track is another weighty tempest to capture the appetite before handing over to the closing red alert of Stay In Your Homes. With samples of martial law declarations punctuating the thrilling start, the track pulls to its loftiest heights on the EP and proceeds to oversee a nation in self-destruct with a rain of sonic mercury and melodic acidity falling upon a web of rhythmic and bass toned predation. It is a stunning finale of corrosive imagination and commentary leaving the body and mind exhausted but fulfilled.

Twentyfirst Century is a devastatingly outstanding release which only gives a ‘complaint’ to its briefness of just four songs, but episodes which confirms System:FX as one of the most exhilarating bands in the UK. Roll on an album is all that is left to say.

https://www.facebook.com/SysFX

10/10

RingMaster 14/08/2013

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Biomechanimal – Renegade 2.0

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The creative project of Matt L. Simpson, Biomechanimal and its debut EP Renegade 2.0, is a seriously dangerous infection for feet and passions. Consisting of five tracks which steal away contact with the ground from the feet to send them into an eager dance of urgency whilst simultaneously igniting thoughts and emotions through sonic passion and lyrical narrative, the EP is a potent confirmation of all the strong responses and impressions flying around the band since its conception.

A classically trained musician, Simpson not wishing to become one of and lost in the crowd turned to creating his own distinctive style of industrial rapaciousness, merging strains of hard dance, hardcore, and EBM into his incendiary ideas and conjurations. Taking inspirations from the likes of The Prodigy, KMFDM, Skinny Puppy, Uberbyte, The Sisters of Mercy, The Cruxshadows, Dope Stars Inc., Eisenfunk, Grendel,  Menschdefekt and many more into his insatiable musical hunger, Simpson immediately drew attention and acclaim to his emerging creations. Live too with Danny Panic and Liam Peel alongside, Biomechanimal has drawn successful appearances at festivals this year to further enhance the growing stature of the band, whilst at its appearance at Resistanz the band almost sold out of its debut EP less than a week after release, down purely from a couple of promo tracks.

As the title track emerges from a building pulse, a melodic tease rising alongside the breath of the track, intrigue is instantly engaged andBiomec-R2cover fed by the thumping rhythmic persuasion and bass heavy throb of the song’s core. With the confronting rasping vocals of Simpson adding their serpentine call to the now contagious electro boogie, shadows merge with sizzling radiance wrapping a near riotous hug around the ear and senses. There is a metallic taste to the track which suggests influences also step from the world of metal though ultimately the track is a riveting industrial stomp of electronic flames and melodic temptation.

The following Broken Wings also steps out from within a distant and pending ambience but once in full control of its recipient there is an unveiling of a darker sturdier presence and intent, the bone shaking beats and persistent sonic rub an unmoveable niggle and provocation laying out a compelling canvas for the caustic vocals and acidic melodic weaves to explore and design their calls upon. There is a feel of Pittersplatter and Project Rotten feel to the insidious air bred and the reserved but anthemic bait offered but it only help brings a fresh and unique raw invention to the fore which sets band and release apart.

    The Stars Are Wrong is undoubtedly the best track on the EP, a full on electro waltz to worry the dance floor into a fevered passion littered with cascades of virulently addictive grooves, toxic hooks, and a primal bass led stalking that only elevates the ridiculously easy and merciless predacious suasion. Within the hands of the song it is like being trapped in a sinew clad cage, predatory shadows nipping and clawing at the psyche whilst their beauteous counterparts divert attention from the deepening thrilling wounds. It is a scintillating song and alongside its companions only increases greed towards the project.

Completed by two remixes of the title track, the first by Italian cyberpunk duo Wormz whose take on the song leads it into slower and darker climates whilst opening an almost folk metal like vein alongside the towering rhythmic skeleton being exposed, and the Trashed by Telemark remix an encounter which rips greater metal essences out of the original version to bring a new face and antagonism to the song. They both enjoyably conclude a great debut which easily places Biomechanimal on the UK industrial map with a muscular swipe. This is only the beginning of big and exciting things one suspects as the Renegade 2.0 takes the ear on another rampant venture.

https://www.facebook.com/BiomechanimalMain

8/10

RingMaster 14/08/2013

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Cynical Existence: Come Out And Play

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Released on February 22nd via Alfa Matrix, Come Out And Play the debut album from Swedish band Cynical Existence has been a highly anticipated proposition amongst fans of harsh EBM/industrial/dark electro fans. Last year saw two EPs from the band which lit up the genre and ventured to the darkest corners of the human condition through a melodic abrasion which was as refreshing and enthralling as it was imaginative and emotive. The solo project of Fredrik Croona, founder and one half of the excellent aggrotech/industrial act Project Rotten and former vocalist of dark electro/industrial band Menschdefekt, Cynical Existence has delved deeper in to its heart to create its darkest engagement  yet, a compelling caustic encounter which provokes and evokes the sharpest reactions alongside the fullest pleasure.

A Familiar Kind of Pain, the first EP from Croona, rampaged and stomped over the senses with a near viral infectiousness to a presence drawn on the personal heart and shadows of the artist. It was an impressive introduction to the project which was then equalled by second EP Ruined Portrait, a collection of tracks which breathed with a darker shadow than its predecessor without losing the contagion rife on the first record. It also suggested what is realised on Come Out And Play, a further depth of reflective inspirations which have evolved into a more intense and malevolent creativity. The album is challenging and arguably less infectious than previous releases but with a maturer energy and craft is just as contagious and impressive. It is an intriguing release which asks for more attention than maybe one initially expected but offers even greater rewards.

As the dawning opening atmosphere on A Scar On My Mind envelops the ear there is an immediate sense of darker energies emerging The vocals of Croona are less caustic than expected initially before his usual pleasing squalls of emotion are unleashed. It is an instant variation which grabs the attention and adds depth to the presence of the track. Melodic beckoning caresses weave their way through the chilled ambience of the song brewing a rich mix of light and dark aurally and emotionally. The sonic manipulation through addictive hooks and melodic teases are more of a loud whisper than an open invitation and makes for a fluid and thrilling veining to the track.

The following Deception is a lighter chord of inner investigation, its airy melodics and sun fuelled glow a warm expanse over the waiting shadows. It is with the glorious and unexpected ‘nintendo dance’ which breaks out that the track just soars further in the heart. It is an imaginative and again intriguing pleasure, an open sensation marking the evolution in the composing and invention of Croona. Without the denseness of the first song the track also declares a diversity to Come Out And Play which was possibly missing on the previous EPs and leaves one greedy for more.

The variety is continued through songs like I’m Broken which fuses the crystalline flavours found in New Order to an angst driven dancefloor expulsion of emotion, GDI, and the serpent spawn Face Of God. The middle song of the three licks the senses with its sonic tongue to intimidate and ignite the deepest rapture whilst offering an insidious and compelling melodic wash which command feet and passion. It is the perfect companion to Face Of God, a track which leads one on a dance of sinister intent and vibrant violation. Again light and dark is the invading emotion and once more the track is an angelic evil which leaves one drooling in hunger and desire.

The further in the release the greater the heights of ardour sparked. Pick Your Poison is another where Croona mixes his vocal delivery wonderfully and unleashes a raptorial elegance which is as corrosive and dangerous as you could wish but equally warm and reassuring. The outstanding Reign Supreme and The Sexual Game both leave their tortured touches on the senses with magnetic charm and disturbed emotion, the pair leaving one enlightened and shadowed in personal emotive thoughts, with the latter song inciting within a pair of familiar tracks. We make no apologies for drooling over Paradox and Insecure, two songs which first made their appearance on A Familiar Kind of Pain and stand as our favourite conjurations from the man, though they are seriously challenged elsewhere on this album. The duo return to unleash their hypnotic mordant dazzling and captivating anthemic riots adding a familiar but again open variation to the release.

Ending with a final tempestuous molestation of delicious sonic foment in Seeping Through, the album leaves one on a high and with an irresistible itch to dive back into the cathartic encounter once again. Cynical Existence just gets better and better and one wonders if it will eventually be a bigger beast than the ‘day job’ for Croona. Released as a single album or limited carton box with a second full album of remixes, Come Out And Play is an essential investigation for all electro/EBM/industrial fans and especially those of bands such as Suicide Commando, SITD, Grendel, and Virtual Embrace.

https://www.facebook.com/cynical.existence.official

RingMaster 17/01/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright