Despite my general disdain for instrumental music, 2009s Immeasurable , the debut by this  Wisconsin instrumental act , really caught my ear. Featuring a former metal journalist and member of post rockers Northless and death metal act Ara, Jerry Hauppa and cello player James Becker, the follow up, V is a 5 song concept piece  based on the  well known 5 stages of Grief developed by Dr Elizabeth  Kubler -Ross (Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, Acceptance), a process I go through every Sunday afternoon watching the New Orleans Saints play this season.

What’s immediately noticeable about Concentric‘s second effort is while it keeps its  acoustic,  cello laced, jazz and flamenco based progressive technicality, there’s is a much more focused metal element with a concerted effort to include more electric guitar riffage, a prominent, steady bass and more featured drums and overall, a more  hefty and heavy approach. That’s not to say the act has lost their dazzling, acoustics and experimental flare and gorgeous cello use, it’s just now this release is going to open the act up  a little more to far more, notoriously picky  metal fans.

Still, Concentric‘s sound is a many layered one that should be fully appreciated with headphones and a dedicated listening session, not a casual or random listen. There is just a stunning array of sounds going on on each of the 5 tracks that they each require your full attention at all times. And that is even which what appears to me a more streamlined and focused sound.

The songs seem to masterfully capture the essence of their given titles; the 10 minute opener “Denial” is busy, convoluted and jarring, as is the shorter, more explosive and discordant “Anger”. which ends with a stern stomp. Both opening tracks amount to basically acoustic/instrumental takes on technical death metal or other technical acts like Spiral Architect  (both noted influences on Mr Hauppa). However, it’s the latter the tracks/stages where Concentric really shine as the representative stages lend themselves more more elegant and introspective instrumentation, especially the cello, which really adds to the already stunning “Bargaining”  and somber “Depression” beautifully. A hammered dulcimer  graces closer “Acceptance” a more uplifting and appropriately paced, more acoustic number with a simply glorious final couple of minutes.

I’d still be really interested to hear what this act could do with some well implemented vocals (I’m thinking  Micheal Akerfeldt’s clean croons) as everything from the song writing, superb skill and perfect production are in line for something special, if they can break of the insular instrumental music scene.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
December 12th, 2012


  1. Commented by: gabaghoul

    this is pretty interesting stuff; like a very busy, acoustic Scale the Summit. lots of overlapping threads and poly-melodic layering.

  2. Commented by: stiffy

    I grabbed their first one when it was reviewed here a few years ago. Got it for free actually. The band was giving it away if you emailed them. I’ll have to check this out. They used blast beats I believe. I haven’t listened to it in a while.

  3. Commented by: jerry

    the whole record can be streamed at the website linked at the end of the review. as with the last record, if you want it i will mail it to you for free.
    Also, the brand new Ara EP can be streamed here.

  4. Commented by: Joe

    ‘a process I go through every Sunday afternoon watching the New Orleans Saints play this season.’ Are you from New Orleans? I am.

Leave a Reply

Privacy notice: When you submit a comment, your creditentials, message and IP address will be logged. A cookie will also be created on your browser with your chosen name and email, so that you do not need to type them again to post a new comment. All post and details will also go through an automatic spam check via Akismet's servers and need to be manually approved (so don't wonder about the delay). We purge our logs from your meta-data at frequent intervals.

  • Duft - Altar of Instant Gratification
  • Amiensus - Reclamation: Part 1
  • Baron - Beneath the Blazing Abyss
  • Mütiilation - Black Metal Cult
  • Arð - Untouched By Fire
  • Kerry King - From Hell I Rise
  • Trocar - Extremities
  • Vesperian Sorrow - Awaken the Greylight
  • From Dying Suns - Calamity
  • Volcandra - The Way of the Ancients
  • Kosuke Hashida - Justifiable Homicide
  • The Dread Crew of Oddwood - Rust & Glory
  • Six Feet Under - Killing For Revenge
  • Skulldozer - Non Stop Ruthless Crushing
  • Synestia/Disembodied Tyrant  - The Poetic Edda EP