Whourkr - Concrete
Self-released
Industrial/Avant-Garde
14 songs (38:27)
Release year: 2008
Reviewed by Goat

Although French duo Whourkr describe themselves as being Death Metal, the most obvious comparison to make is to Avant-Garde mentalists Fantômas. Although not similar musically, stylistically there’s clearly some Mike Patton influence, opening track Mindgerb featuring some pretty unhinged vocals from the superbly-titled I Snorr. For the most part, tracks are similar; programmed drums beat out distorted patterns over electronic chaos whilst guitars churn in the background. I suppose you could call it a mixture of Godflesh and Venetian Snares, although don’t listen expecting that because the album will keep listeners on their toes, and often songs change styles in the middle, drum n’bass a frequent visitor.

Don’t expect a sort of Fear Factory slickness, either, for Whourkr like to get down and dirty with their beats. Annoyingly, unlike Fear Factory they don’t have any hummable songs, which makes actually liking Concrete difficult. It all feels rather ungainly and badly-put-together, moments like Cera Pollutea’s bass twanging making the track seem thrown-together. A lot of the tracks here really feel rather random, and not in a good way – it doesn’t help that most follow a similar style. Being unconventional doesn’t mean that you have to make your music difficult to listen to, and whilst I can enjoy a decent bit of hardcore electronica as much as the next man, Whourkr simply aren’t Venetian Snares or Fantômas, so Avant-Garde sets of beats like Groovinbear have less impact than they should. In addition, it’s hard to call your band Metal when the guitars take such a backing approach – not really a criticism of Whourkr, but when are we going to get the Metal band that uses drillcore to the extent it deserves?

What makes Concrete a frustrating listen is ultimately finale piece Plantea, which takes a more melodic approach and ends up somewhere very strange indeed. It’s a million miles ahead of the other tracks simply because it actually feels like some thought went into it. I’m all in favour of the Avant-Garde bands if they can actually do something with it as opposed to chaos for chaos’ sake, and whilst the likes of Fantômas make art – art that may take a few listens to ‘get’, perhaps, but art just the same – Whourkr have a way to go before their take on Electronic Metal is really worth listening to.

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Killing Songs :
Plantea
Goat quoted 52 / 100
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