Review 1528 : Concrete Age – Bardo Thodol – English

Concrete Age is back on stage.

Since 2010, the band led by the Russian musician Ilia « Frosty J » Morozov (vocals/guitar/ethnic instruments), who relocated to England, explores different folktales. In 2023 and accompanied by Boris Zahariev (guitar), Giovanni Ruiu (bass) and Davide Marini (drums), the band ventures into the Tibetan Book of the Dead with Bardo Thodol, its seventh album.

Hex, the first composition, immediately immerses us in this mystical atmosphere with oriental tones, but the solid rhythmic soon strengthens this raw and groovy sound before vocals appear. The aggressive mix is adorned with Death Metal elements before catchy melodies lead into Purity, an effective, faster track which also relies on cheerful folk additions to contrast with the more saturated parts. Rage resurfaces on True Believer, a track offering beastly screams to walk with an energetic rhythm coupled with haunting ethnic instruments followed by Threads of Fate and its jerky riffs to which the mysterious influences are perfectly grafted. We will also find some piercing leads joining the crazy dance just like on Trite Puti, an instrumental track which mixes elements that seem relatively distant at first, but that turns out to be very effective. Vocals come back on Lullaby for a Deadman and its heavy rhythmic, which is perfect to begin intense headbanging sessions interspersed with the appearance of heady sounds to perfectly frame the explosions of violence. Bardo Thodol, the eponymous track, will place a soothing introduction before the catchy groove comes back to take us along, letting blast offer violent parts which guide us to the melancholic Ridges of Suffering and its lively double kick. The band won’t hesitate to contrast its rage with some heady parts before coming back in full force with piercing leads, then the heavy Thunderland picks in some dark Thrash Metal to nuance an almost festive rhythm accompanied by choirs which lead us to Bezdna Ot Ludost, the last composition, for two more minutes of raw energy between worked Death/Groove and dreamy Folk parts.

Concrete Age‘s atypical mix is still as effective as ever. With Bardo Thodol, the musicians tackle a culture which is not very well represented in the Metal universe without forgetting their aggressive and groovy roots.


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