Review: Lament Cityscape ‘The Old Wet’ EP

With its imminent release on the horizon, The Old Wet, the third, and final installment of Oakland based Lament Cityscapes Wet trilogy, completes the concept of transforming oneself from one thing, and into something new. It’s a dark, broody, and at times a thoroughly uncomfortable ride into the mind of Mike McClatchey and his cohorts, and it isn’t a ride for the faint hearted.

Lament Cityscape 'The Old Wet'

Following on from previous releases The New Wet and The Pulsing Wet, The Old Wet finishes the piece in as characteristic a way as its predecessors laid the path for. Its bleak industrial feel will leave you with a shortness of breath, and a sense of anxiousness that is pretty unheard of in the modern industrial scene.

The Old Wet, like its older siblings, is also a three track affair and feels more like the final part of a three act play. When all three EPs are played in unison, it becomes a far greater monster, and more a nine-track album, than it does if played in three smaller chunks. It certainly is hard going at times, not for any lack of quality, but more due to the scale of the whole project. It’s definitely thought provoking, and at the end of an extremely bleak and bizarre year, it could well be the perfect soundtrack for our modern times.

In this review, I am guiding you through the final chapter, but I implore you to seek out both predecessors, and take the time to assemble together, as it makes for a far more complete picture of the story, with The Old Wet being the finale.

As for the band themselves, Lament Cityscapes are (currently) a four piece, who have been slowly building on their dark industrial sound over recent years, after their infancy as a sludge metal duo. Often categorised as post-metal, dark post-punk, avant noise, and dark ambient, I strongly feel that post-apocalyptic industrial is the true home for the band.

If you like industrial music to be more than just a noise, and are looking for that genuine, Mad Max meets The Terminator feel, then Lament Cityscapes will tick all of your boxes…

The three tracks, A Rusting Moth, Among The Dead, and Coagulant take us on a ride into the dark undercurrent, and throughout the whole fifteen plus minutes, it’s hard not to draw comparison with two of the industrial pioneers, Nine Inch Nails, and Ministry. On one hand, we have that unmistakable Nine Inch Nails feel, for the sheer soundscapes, dark, otherworldly, and like soundtrack for the end of the world. On the other hand, Ministry’s Filth Pig era of aggression and throbbing, pulsating doom-laden intensity.

There are also hints of other industrial bands such as Godflesh, the aggressive, and at times hidden vocal, resonates that feel Godflesh brought to the table many, many moons ago.

A Rusting Moth opens in an ambient euphoria, and without any previous knowledge of the two previous EPs, all we, as the listener, have is our instincts to guide us. It builds and builds on its darkness and intensity, and by the time the crashing of drums hit, it opens out and the full majesty of its true purpose really hits hard. It twists and turns, and by the end, the feeling of claustrophobia is quite overwhelming.

Among The Dead is where those Nine Inch Nails and Ministry comparisons really kick in, it has an industrial, post-apocalyptic feel, and for me, this is the stand out of all three track’s combined. Coagulant again plays with us, it twists and turns, and you can never tell what is going to happen next. The moody soundscapes, at a flick of a switch, are replaced with doom laden pounding, and that almost indecipherable vocal is layered in, so as not to overwhelm the importance of the instrumentation.

Obviously, going on the three tracks alone makes it hard to form a complete opinion, it feels like you’ve jumped in at the end of the story, and so to fully appreciate this work of art as a whole, obtaining the previous two EPs is essential.

If you like industrial music to be more than just a noise, and are looking for that genuine, Mad Max meets The Terminator feel, then Lament Cityscapes will tick all of your boxes, and leave you desperate for more.

Label: Independent
Band Links: Official | Facebook | Bandcamp | Instagram

Scribed by: Lee Beamish