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Concrete is the second album from the French deathtronix duo Whourkr, who blew my mind previously with the insane fusion of extreme technical death/grind/doom, electronica, prog and hardcore jungle that was their 2007 album Naät. Concrete was released by the band about a year later in a small self-issued run that was mainly used as a promotional item, and one of these discs made its way to Crucial Blast right before I discovered their debut, which had just been reissued around the same time on a new label. I was so blown away by Naät that it wasn't long before I was talking to the band about releasing their second disc on Crucial Blast for the U.S., and here it is, a domestic reissue of their blistering grind/electronica mutation, presented in a six-panel digipack with new artwork that expands upon the original promo wallet design.
Concrete is a challenging listen just like the first album, but compared to the extreme digital grind chaos of, say, Noism or Mulk, Whourkr actually do write songs, they just happen to adhere to an utterly fucked mode of songwriting logic, each short track speeding by as a hallucinatory collage of spastic death metal complexity, hyperspeed drum n' bass, weird mewling cries and shrieking gnome vocals, warped alien ambience, skittering abstract electronica, malfunctioning broken-down gabber beats, and blasts of heavily processed and strangely beautiful ethereal grind. The seven songs comprise a whirlwind of electronically processed and treated avant-death/grind that is as violent and brutal as it is complex and obsessively constructed, relying as much on samplers and sound-editing software as it does on bonecrushing technical riffs, vicious screaming and hyperspeed mechanized blastbeats. Whourkr's music follows a similiar strategy as James Plotkin's post-production grind experiments on the first Phantomsmasher album, with all of the guitars, drums, and vocals arranged and recorded by Whourkr and then run through a gauntlet of hardcore editing and remixing and rearranging. Each tracks then becomes a cyclone blast filled with a hundred moving parts, what might at one point been a straightforward death metal song is now defleshed, violated, and reconfigured into a brutal plasma blast of demonic time-stretched vocal acrobatics, ultra complex riffs blasted through a vortex of dizzying time signature changes, screaming glitched-out electronic effects and bizarre filtering, mangled quasi-jungle beats and programmed blastbeats that are so insanely fast that they resemble the blur of ten death metal cds all skipping simultaneously. Total chaos deathgrind filtered through a futuristic cuisinart of ultra-aggressive electronica, like a freaked-out epileptic mashup of Atari Teenage Riot, Dying Fetus, Agoraphobic Nosebleed, Venetian Snares, Blut Aus Nord, and John Zorn. Exactly the kind of gonzo alien death metal weirdness that we can't get enough of, and a new fave for enthusiasts of apocalyptic extremo grind/death/jungle/electronica like Drumcorps, Bong-Ra, Dataclast, Noism, Agoraphobic Nosebleed, Reptiljan, Mulk, and the hardest of the DHR crews. Highly recommended! CRUCIAL BLAST