Concrete Winds ‒ Nerve Butcherer Review

Entering “racket” into ye olde Dictionary.com yields several results, with the following coming up under noun definitions:

Social excitement, gaiety, or dissipation. Legolas and Gimli took part in the celebratory racket following the victorious battle at Helm’s Deep.
you found the secret message

 

An organized illegal activity, such as bootlegging or the extortion of money from legitimate business people by threat or violence. Paulie Walnuts shook down the pastry shop for payments as part of a protection racket.

 

A light bat having a netting of catgut or nylon stretched in a more or less oval frame and used for striking the ball in tennis, the shuttlecock in badminton, etc. John McEnroe hit the line judge over the head with his tennis racket for calling his shot out of bounds.

 

A loud noise or clamor, especially of a disturbing or confusing kind; din; uproar. Finnish metal band Concrete Winds specializes in a particularly aggressive and truly relentless racket.

 

Release date: November 26, 2021. Label: Sepulchral Voice Records.
While that last definition is obviously the one of chief concern for this album and review, Concrete Winds’ sophomore album Nerve Butcherer is so gatdanged savage in its delivery that it’s as intimidating as a mob shakedown, as belligerent as McEnroe’s all-time great tantrum, and for a certain type of metalhead ought to create the excitement and gaiety referenced in the first definition.

Concrete Winds ‒ who formed after the split of the killer Vorum ‒ specialize in the type of controlled chaos, clang-bang-clatter, extremity-to-the-nth-degree type of black/death metal that seems intent on showing up just about every other band in terms of how far it’ll take things. In that way they share a bit of a mental space with past nth-degree bands like Rigor Mortis (the high speed-picked thrash riffs) and Angelcorpse (blackened Morbid Angel-ish riffs that sometimes seem to bounce just off of the madness below), but add a complete disregard for proper society with a near-grind intensity and absolutely rude attitude throughout. As a result, they don’t really sound like these bands, but these are the reference points from which they launch their manic machinery. The vocals are a screaming, yelling rant; the drumming, while extremely skilled, sometimes comes across as an earthquake hitting a kitchen supply store; the riffs a combination of simplistic death metal speed and the kind of rapid buzzing swarm, like being attacked by 100 wasps at once; and the soloing not even remotely concerned with things like “melody” or “structure.”

The injection of that grinding intensity is really where Nerve Butcherer separates itself from the band’s very fun debut Primitive Force. It actually feels more ferocious and efficient despite actually being a full two minutes longer to come to a runtime of about 27 minutes (with 8 of 10 songs under 3 minutes in length). Anything more might be too exhausting for the listener, but Concrete Winds knows how to get in, cause damage, and get out.

They also crucially know that it takes at least a little variety to keep things moving. Most of the tiny deviations into mid-paced material, such as those in “Intravenous Doctrine,” are just there to make the return to hyperspeed that much more jarring, but sometimes they do something a bit more, as with the downright danceable riffs and ride cymbal in one part of “Industrial Mutilation.” At times they use these passages as a chance to up the attitude (some particularly sassy riffs in “Chromium Jaws”) and sometimes its to [gasp] allow one of the band members to actually display a small bit of musicality (the mobile bass in “Dissolvent Baptism”). After all, they wouldn’t be able to play to this level of intensity without some actual musical talent, they just don’t like making a big point of it.

But even the brief deviations are just that: a brief distraction. The majority of Nerve Butcherer is rude, nasty, and ready to cause a scene at the country club banquet. Concrete Winds makes music that means you harm, and they will smile the entire time you’re in glorious agony.

Posted by Zach Duvall

Last Rites Co-Owner; Senior Editor; Obnoxious overuser of baseball metaphors.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.