Concentric – V

Concerntric is a three-piece from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. This is their second album even though it is called “V.” The “V” represents the five tracks here which are named after the Five Stages Of Grief as defined by psychiatrist Elisabeth Kübler-Ross. These are the famous stages of grief as people become aware of their impending death: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance. Even though there is five different tracks on the album the whole thing flows as one piece. This is an instrumental concept album which attempts to convey emotions through the music alone. The members have had backgrounds in extreme metal before forming this band, which was originally more acoustic-oriented. Compared to the first album there is a balance between acoustic and electric guitars. The acoustic guitar playing is generally fairly intricate.

Some guitar effects sound like keyboards. Nice tones and sounds from the electric guitars. Cello adds another dimension to the music. Things get more interesting when it starts to become important. The style of music on this album is a mix of post-rock and post-metal along with a little bit of math rock, tech metal, fusion, prog folk and avant-prog thrown in. The music can be hard to describe as it can sound like a hundred different groups who don’t sound anything like each other. You could say a metal-influenced post-rock with some fusion and folky elements. The album is very unpredictable when you first hear it, it takes a few listens to get used to. The music can be straight-forward while suddenly changing to a start/stop part or a fast and stuttering section.

The main opening melody sounds like 1980s Metallica at their most melodic, with harmonized guitars. The music changes throughout and you generally cannot tell when one track has ended and the next one begun unless you pay close attention to the time. It must have took a fair amount of time and effort to compose, practice and perform this entire piece of music. It doesn’t sound like a heavily edited and overdubbed album, but it could be. The music sounds full for a trio and the great sound and production here helps with that. I like the way the CD case folds open. I have been used to this kind of packaging since the early 1990s but the way this CD folds open is different to the way I am used to. Recommended to prog metal fans who are not allergic to purely instrumental music or post-rock fans who are also metal fans.


1. Denial (10:17)
2. Anger (5:02)
3. Bargaining (4:04)
4. Depression (6:42)
5. Acceptance (8:01)


* Jerry Hauppa – guitar, hammered dulcimer
* Brad O’Malley – drums, guitar
* James Becker – guitar, cello, bass


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