FUSION BOMB - Concrete Jungle
Truth be told, I was a little disappointed two years ago when Fusion Bomb released their debut EP Pravda. It was a promising enough start, if a little pedestrian and overtly pedagogical at times, and I just knew that there was so much more talent lingering inside the band. Last year, a pre-prelease single proved me right, but didnít prepare me for the sonic onslaught that Concrete Jungle has become.
Gone are the long tracks from the early days. They have been substituted by shorter, more concise tracks that bundle the bandís energy to the max. The album may be with its ten tracks rather short at only thirty-seven minutes, but a minuscule length also didnít prevent Slayerís Reign In Blood from becoming a timeless classic. So yes, Fusion Bomb have finally arrived, safe and sound, in the purest Eighties vintage thrash sound, but instead of making Concrete Jungle a simple, formulistic exercise, they have also written really great songs, not only two or three, but more or less every single track is a future classic.
The opener Zest Of Scorn is an angry fast-paced thrash metal grenade where everything fits. The guitars are spewing killer riffs, the drums are fast, precise and quite varied, the pounding bass guitar, full frontal in the mix, reminds of the classic thrash bands, and the vocals are full of venom and spite. The guitar solos are also just like they used to be three decades ago: wicked short outburst of searing killer notes. The following Knuckleburger follows in that same vein, adding a certain crossover metal sound to it all. Up next is the title track, a stomping monster full of groove that reminds me somehow of early Anthrax. Other influences are Nuclear Assault and S.O.D. (minus the fascism!), and itís especially the bass guitar which shows parallels to Dan Lilker who used to play in all three of those bands. More speed follows with the pre-release single Youíre A Cancer To This World, sounding like Slayer on a hardcore crossover trip, and being one of the albumís highlights. Itís as if Fusion Bomb just canít get enough of ultra-fast metal, with Blazing Heat being another classic thrash speed metal song. TMNA is at two minutes the albumís shortest song, and, you guessed it!, another speedy track with crushing double bass drum attacks and a definite humorous undertone. Then itís time for another mid-tempo groove metal piece with Bird Of Prey, sounding somewhat like the more hypnotic parts of Nuclear Assault. Nyctophobia is the most complex track on the album, and at nearly five minutes also the longest one. I especially enjoyed the atmospheric middle part.
Usually, this is the time where young bands are out of breath and you just turn off the music. But Fusion Bomb are not any old (or young) band, as just unleash with their second single Slam Tornado their possibly best song yet. This is some kind of tribute to Exodusí Toxic Waltz, and comes therefore with an incredibly catchy chorus that invites to sing along! The album finally ends with I Never Denied, a cover version by skate punk band Excel whose biggest feat might have been to have written Enter Sandman three years before Metallica did, but Fusion Bomb decided to cover I Never Denied, a rather diverse track, and while Excelís music itself may not have aged that well, Fusion Bomb manage to give it their own identity, and anyway, bands who cover obscure stuff are always welcome.
I wanted to give Concrete Jungle nine points, but then came to the conclusion that itís been years since any band from Luxembourg had released such an amazing album where songwriting, performance and production just work so well together. So ten points it is! Fusion Bomb are now the best metal band from Luxembourg, and I wonít allow any discussions about that!