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Concrete Icon - Perennial Anguish

Concrete Icon
Perennial Anguish
by Joe Reed at 15 August 2013, 12:42 PM

Finland’s CONCRETE ICON have released their debut album “Perennial Anguish” on Sweden’s Black Vulture Records and despite its few inspired moments, this debut fails in more areas than it should. Since their inception in 2007, CONCRETE ICON has released two demos, a split with Virginia’s SEVENTH GATE, and an EP entitled “Where the Horns Reign”. Despite this already impressive discography in terms of number of releases, their debut record’s songwriting doesn’t showcase a band capable of expanding upon its songwriting nor does it demonstrate the band’s ability to highlight a characteristic that demands a listener’s attention. CONCRETE ICON play a form of melodic Death Metal similar to hometown legends AMORPHIS that retains a certain level of aggression and (at times) groove reminiscent of American Sludge Metal. This sound is best represented on the album’s most impressive and well written track “Righteousness Decayed” that features a heavy, groove-laden riff that carries the song well and is highlighted by a very memorable and well placed melody. The powerful structure of this song, however, is unfortunately not representative of the record as a whole. The album’s flat production and stale songwriting makes the elements that stood out in “Righteousness Decayed” become redundant and predictable as the record progresses.

In terms of the production, I personally found the vocals to be too much in front of the mix and found the guitars to be at times drowned out and the drums to be at times completely absent in each song in terms of character. CONCRETE ICON’s rather weak and uninspired guitar tone is perhaps partially to blame for this, particularly on heavier tracks such as “Callous Reaper” whose primary riff should be played with a tone that gives the album a distinct attitude and creates a certain aesthetic. The lack of character in the tonality of each song permeates throughout the entire album and leaves CONCRETE ICON without a recognizable mood, feeling, or attitude that reaches out and demands the listener’s attention. “Perennial Anguish”’s lack of personality makes it a rather mediocre and pedestrian effort despite the band having elements that can potentially make them a Death Metal act worth mentioning. This is particularly noticeable on “The Choir of Serpents”, a well written track that could potentially be the best song of the band’s career if the band expanded upon the sludge influence and removed the safe and predictable melodic interlude. Perhaps if CONCRETE ICON included a use of synths or more varied instrumentation (something AMORPHIS achieved during their career) it would resurrect a sound that, unfortunately for now, sounds like it has no pulse. 

3 Star Rating

1. Haven Defiled
2. Rapture and Torment
3. Righteousness Decayed
4. Sadness upon Us
5. Callous Reaper
6. The Choir of Serpents
7. Monarch in Emptiness
8. Perennial Anguish
TK- Bass
Krister Virtanen- Guitar
Jake – Vocals, Guitar
S. Vainio - drums
Record Label: Black Vulture Records


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