Lament Cityscape – The Old Wet + The New Wet

Rating: 3.5/5
Distributor/label URL: Self-released
Released: 2020
Buy Album: https://lamentcityscape.bandcamp.com/album/the-old-wet
Band Website: http://www.facebook.com/LamentCityscape

Band line-up:

Mike McClatchey – Lyrics, vocals, bass, guitars, synth, programming
Lee Bartow – Synth, programming
David Small – Synth, noise
Seánan McCullough – Live drums, additional percussion
Peter Layman – Live drums, additional percussion

Tracklisting:

The Old Wet:
1.) A Rusting Moth
2.) Among the Dead
3.) Coagulant

The New Wet:
1.) Running Out of Decay
2.) Seepage
3.) Borer

Review:

The New Wet and The Old Wet represent the last two thirds of a trilogy of conceptual EPs by industrial crushers Lament Cityscape (the other being The Pulsing Wet), and seems to mark a shift in the band’s approach, as indicated by founder Mike McClatchey:

“‘The Old Wet’ is really the accepting and embracing of a new form or role. ‘The New Wet’ and ‘The Pulsing Wet’ were both fighting against and fearing the inevitable transition,”

The band began more as purveyors of sludge metal, but over time seem to have shifted into more of a dark, heavy industrial realm, and that transition, or perhaps the culmination of it, can be glimpsed within these tracks. There’s definitely some of that raw, sludgey core here, bitter and snarling, but it’s buried amid a wall of thick, suffocating sound. The sounds here are ones to lose yourself in, the soundtrack of a dark, apocalyptic future, one covered in filth, grime and smog, bleak and hopeless.

While both EPs are roughly along those same lines, The Old Wet does show the increasing encroachment of the industrial sound. New Wet has more of a vicious edge to it, and while there’s some of that still present in Old Wet, on that final EP chapter we hear something more drained and bleak, the sound of the machine having won and taken over.

All told, these six tracks make for some solid immersive listening. That aforementioned wall of sound is very effective when it hits, as in the mid-way mark of “Coagulant”. The synths add a grim, dreamy quality to it all. The whole package calls to mind industrial titans like Godflesh, or a more weary Killing Joke. At times it even reminds of Pig Destroyer’s monolithic Natasha with that same kind of hypnotic impact, equal parts soothing and disturbing (see the unrelenting depravity of sound in “Borer”). These EPs are well worth a look for any fans of dark, industrial soundscapes.

Review by Kieron Hayes
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