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Concentric - Immeasurable CD (album) cover

IMMEASURABLE

Concentric

 

Post Rock/Math rock

3.00 | 1 ratings

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Negoba
Prog Reviewer
3 stars Acoustic Prog-Metal?

Concentric is the result of a group of extreme metallers trying to branch out into new territory. Choosing to move to acoustic instruments, this band is to Exivious what Days of the New was to Alice in Chains. (I incidentally loved Days of the New in the 90's) Being an ex-metal player who does almost exclusively acoustic work myself, this project held special interest to me.

First of all, this is not an "unplugged" album. Concentric has revamped and reinvented their entire sound around their acoustic instruments and the result is, in fact, more in the math / post rock realm than extreme metal. Jim Becker's cello is a major part of the sonic landscape on several songs, and the acoustic guitar serves more as a clean lead and harmonic accent instrument rather than strumming as a part of the rhythm section. The compositions are somewhat jazzy a la Gordian Knot or Scale the Summit. The bass is big, making for a balanced and full mix. The playing is intentionally loose, making the songs seem very human despite the level of compositional complexity.

There are a few places where the metal roots show through as in the power chording parts of "Counterbalance." Later in the album, the band even applies some distortion as on "Immeasurable." More often, there are tastes of Windham Hill with allusions to the sound of Michael Hedges and the sizzly fresh acoustic open strings. The drums are fairly understated, or as much as they can in this extremely busy music.

Perhaps the major complaint I have is that there's sometimes too much going on. The band still hasn't settled completely into their sound yet, which is fine for a young group exploring very new territory. In this way they are much like the young Scale the Summit, another group of technically gifted players still finding out what they want to say musically. Transitions can be a bit abrupt. Melodies are minimal, and eventually the songs begin to blend into each other. The album could probably have been about 15 (or even 25) minutes shorter.

Overall, I give great kudos for trying to push into new territory. I would suggest pushing even further, with more use of the cello, and a little more variation in the types of moods presented over the course of the album. There's an EP's worth of great stuff here. As it stands, it's a 3.5/5 album for me that I'm once again rounding to the mean.

Negoba | 3/5 |

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