If you think about it, for gruff metal heads a lot of us are accepting of some pretty mellow non metal acts: Tenhi, Nuen Welten, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, old Mortiis, Summoning, Dornenreich just to name a few, seem to get a free pass with metal heads and as artistically brilliant as many non metal acts are , they are not metal, yet get mentioned and reviewed on sites like this. And I’m not here to dispute that or dissect why, I’m just here to introduce you to a pretty stunning Milwaukee instrumental acoustic trio called Concentric.

Featuring former writer Jerry Hauppa (who I actually owe no favors to for this review since he once publicly called me and out), Concentric play a form of technical avant-garde instrumental music that’s largely acoustic and somewhat flamenco-ish and sometimes folky (in an organic, medieval kind of way), has some violin and cello, and some occasional metal leanings, but is superbly performed and a nice break from all the breakdowns and blastbeats.

What Concentric manage to do is be delicate, laid back and relaxing, while retaining some metallic complexity. While certainly most of the album is languid yet intricate string/acoustic (with percussion) busy flourishes that bring to mind some of the great Flamenco/Acoustic soloists (“Familiarity”, “Opaque”, “Counterbalance”, the delightful duo of “Sleep Therapy” and closer “Verdiend”-complete with acoustic blast beat), its obvious that Hauppa’s metal background is still a little on display for the likes of the moody “The Colossus”, end of “Inspiration” and the 9-minute title track which delivers electric guitar riffs, solos and even a surprise blast beat.

Jim Becker adds some enchanting cello (particularly the haunting “Monument” and “Sedatophobia”) and violin work to the mix, while newly added drummer Brad O’ Malley give the acoustics dexterity some backbone- and it comes together for a rather breath taking but definitely non metal, 60 minute experience that, on headphones, just unravels, and envelops with each unique and beautiful chord and note.

A simply breath taking exercise in skillfull, dexterous acoustics, Concentric have to be one of the most talented and enthralling instrumental, non metal acts Ive been exposed too. I hope some of you guys feel the same way.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
January 13th, 2010


  1. Commented by: Mars

    Great to see them get a review here. Concentric is supremely talented and hard working band who deserve more recognition that they struggle to receive locally. Now, your site should review the Divisive Skin/Face of Ruin split we sent to digitalmetal 3 years ago. Jerry played guitar in Divisive Skin :)

  2. Commented by: dr_neo_cortex

    This is really good, I heard some songs off their myspace and its definitely different in a good way. And the acoustic blastbeat is awesome haha can’t believe Opeth hasn’t capitalized on that one yet.

  3. Commented by: Infinite Death

    This is interesting Erik. I may have to look into it more. As much as I love my metal, everybody needs a little break once in a while. I usually listen to some classical or dark ambient when I’m not in the mood for metal, but stuff like this, as well as Ulver’s acoustic album from I don’t remember when, always helps give me a wider range of options.

  4. Commented by: jerry

    thanks to erik and those who commented. if you want to hear the record, email me and ill mail you a copy. i just want to get it out there, and we spent a lot of time and emotion on this record so sound off if you want one for free!

  5. Commented by: jerry
  6. Commented by: Mark

    sounds like this would be right up my alley

  7. Commented by: Shane

    Shit dudes this is amazing. Talk about thinking outside the box. LOL! Nice work.

  8. Commented by: timshel

    interested to know this band’s influences

  9. Commented by: jerry

    even though its acoustic, we’re all metalheads. big influences (for me) are Anata, Spiral Architect, Theory in Practice, Meshuggah, Cryptopsy, etc. or anything with good sense of harmony or mood, like older opeth, katatonia, novembre, and so on.

  10. Commented by: Brad

    We added some new songs to our myspace and have some videos and music up on youtube

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