Concrete Funeral , let’s face it, you can’t pass by a chance to listen to a band with a name like that, it just sounds… so Metal!! So if you like your Metal with that added ‘Thrash-tastic’ edge you won’t be too disappointed with their debut release “Ultimum Judicium” , it’s thrashy to the core but with a pinch of Death Metal, think Exodus, Death, Lamb of God and you’ll be in the right ballpark. It’s heavy, yet groovy, punchy and packed with thrashy lead work, with vocals that range from harsh growl to a vitriolic hiss and as a debut release it’s pretty decent.
Despite this being the Calgary Death/Thrash quartet’s debut release they’ve been tearing apart the local underground scene since 2015 and testing the waters, successfully, with their wares . “Ultimum Judicium” is a nine track offering that clocks up thirty two minutes of exciting ear terrorism with the final track “Stabbed To Death” released as a single and fore runner to the album which the band explains is: ‘Straight up about hunting somebody down and playing with their insides just for the sheer pleasure of doing so, very B movie inspired as you’ll see from the lyric video. Straight up thrash riffs in the vein of Exodus, meant to be a quick catchy single that sounds as mean as the lyrics are.’
Opening on the intro, “Ultimum Judicium“ is a dark scene setting but tongue in cheek piece, this is a band that likes to embrace over the top comedic horror, and it’s reflected across the subsequent tracks, I do like a little humour in my Metal, then straight into “Speak of The Devil” an evil slice of up tempo galloping Thrash with good switching, especially midway where it drops down a notch, becoming heavier but the full throttle pace resumes and goes beyond in the latter part, reaching its pinnacle with a mighty shred.
“Drown“, is dark and haunting to open, building suddenly in pace and intensity, the dark edge maintained until a quirky chunk of bass work dictates a severe direction switch, an interesting track because it flicks around all over the place like an angry snake, dropping down in a very surprising way for Thrash, these guys really think outside if the box and you also get a nice second half shred.
“Holo-Comb” is a fairly straightforward Thrash track which ebbs and flows nicely and the closing lead work has a great build. Next up, a punchy track ,”Code Adam” is up tempo, and I love the repeat riff , it’s cleverly punctuated, has midpoint shreds and becomes increasingly dark and intense until midway when there’s a burst of lead work before falling away violently and rebuilding to another lead work burst, nicely done!
“Toxic Fuck” starts on a slow sinister and dark opener, building with a meld of squeals and lead work to a steady mid pace with cleaner lead work, it’s another track were the pace and direction moves around fluidly. Then on to “Mattress Stains“, which has another slow sinister opener, building up to a thrashy chug that soon turns into a gallop closing on a burst of thrashy lead work.
“Carnival of Contradictions” doesn’t mess around; it gets straight down to business from the start, that business being delivering a flat out Thrash offering, and this it does extremely well. Finally the closing track and album single, “Stabbed To Death” the up tempo punchy pace is heralded by a soaring opening growl with great midpoint lead work which builds and builds then suddenly dropping back to the previously punchy pace which gets denser towards the close and is topped off with more face searing extended growls .
“Ultimum Judicium” is an interesting release, on one hand it is old school and raw alongside a few modern quirks skilfully dropped in, I’m certain “Concrete Funeral” still have a lot more to offer and it’ll be interesting to watch them develop, this is a great start.
The album is to be self released,and available to listen, pre-order and buy from May 31 via the link below!
Rating – 4/5