Album Review: Tommy Concrete – Orc Mage

The ever-productive and talented Tommy Concrete has just released a new mini six-track album on 4th December, called Orc Mage.

An interesting start to the album with an electronic white noise feel startup as the drums kick in. It’s followed by some interesting effects guitar before the guttural vocals takes us on a strange otherworldly journey through the “Monetised Pity Party” with a cascading mid guitar section.

Some fast opening chain-driven drum work on “Marked for Death (Axial Command)” with some intricate guitar work. Vic’s vocals remind me a bit of The Pink Fairies & Hawkwind in their tone. The guitar sound from Tommy towards the end of the track has that early Hawkwind feel; a real trip back in time with this track.

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Some driving drums and guitar intro on this song before the vocals including what sounds like dogs barking and the music take you on a musical mash-up of a party involving The Pink Fairies, Hawkwind & Frank Marino. Some truly amazing guitar work on this from Tommy, some very “Diverse Magic” indeed.

A thumping bass line of a start with some tasty doom-laden slide guitar work, the ominous pondering vocals of “Consumption of Punishment” take you on a haunting gloomy journey. The guitar works perfectly with the vocals and the drums fill the background as an accompaniment, taking you back to the feeling of watching films like The Devil Rides Out and The Ninth Gate.

An acoustic entrance with haunting keyboard background and hints of Dave Brock on vocals take you on a stunning majestic ride on “A Figure Called Nothing”. There is a skin-tingling soaring fullness to this track, taking you back to Hawkwind’s glory days. The guitar work is simply mind blowing in its complexity, not sure what Tommy has been listing to recently, this is simply one of the best things I have heard from the man, goosebumps all the way.

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The drums and charging guitar intro lead of this 17-minute monster hit you on like a demented spaghetti western, the contrasting vocals work well as the “Orc Mage” characters work against each other. There is an acoustic midsection as the characters continue their argument before we hit another golden vein of stunning guitar work which would not be out of place on an early Pink Floyd album before the electronic keyboard and bass work carries you away as the almost Spanish electric flamenco guitar again soars in to take you further on this outlandish ever-changing journey.

There is nothing ordinary about Tommy’s writing or playing in general but more so on this six-track album. If you like early Hawkwind with hints of Never Never Land-era Pink Fairies and the odd curveball track then you will love this collection. I imagine the inside of Tommy’s brain to be a bit like a Frank Zappa party with Salvador Dali providing the liquid projection backdrop; never ordinary and long may it remain so.

Header image by Gary Cooper

Orc Mage is out now

Tommy Concrete: official | facebook | bandcamp | youtube

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