Contrarian
To Perceive is to Suffer

Contrarian caused a few waves back in 2015 with their highly regarded debut, Polemic. A supergroup of sorts founded by Jim Tasikas with Brian Mason (Sulaco), Leon Macy (Mithras) on guitars with George Lollias (Nile) on drums. It was a Death homage, with  a heavier lean on the band’s latter, more progressive tones, adding some brutal death metal vocals.

Well, here is the follow up, and though Macy isn’t on this album, Kollias now does vocals as well as drums and the band has further developed their latter Death/Cynic hues even more to be even more progressive and even more based on The Sound of Perseverance.  In fact, if “Flesh and the Power it Holds” is your favorite Death song, then this album is basically one long version of that song in all its brilliance.

Gone are the deeper, growled vocals replaced by more Kollias’s more Schuldiner-esqe rasps. The material is even more noodly and experimental with a cleaner, crystalline  production (courtesy of former Rotting Christ and Sickening Horror guitarist George Bokos). Where Polemic had a more cavernous aura within the Death influence, keeping things a little more brutal, To Perceive is to Suffer is full on shredding, solo filled twiddly effort that does Chuck proud with a far more introspective and philosophical delivery.

Look no further than the opening title track or “Memory Eternal” , standout  “Purpose Seeker”, “Ripped from the Void” or even short instrumental “Dreams at Slumber” to hear how heavily imbued The Sound of Perseverance or even the Control Denied presence really is. You can also hear a much heavier Cynic and Athiest vibe and Cynic’s Paul Masvidal even shows up on a cover of Fate’s Warning‘s “At Fate’s Hand”, as if you needed anymore hints on how much more progressive this album is.

Chuck maybe gone but one listen to album closer “The Utopian” you’d think he had come back in George Kollias’s voice and Tasikas’s hands, and while many bands are paying homage to Deaths’s earlier sound (Gruesome, Skeletal Remains, Morfin etc) it’s great to hear such a spot on worship of the band’s last album.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by E. Thomas
August 28th, 2017

Comments

  1. Commented by: Nick Taxidermy

    I really like this, but the vocals are at a really weird spot in the mix. great bassist, though, holy shit.


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