Contrarian
Their Worm Never Dies

Guitarist Jim Tasikas is back with Contrarian’s third album and  again, joining is George Kollias (Nile) on drums and vocals ( though Cody McConnell has joined as a live session vocalist), Sulaco’s Brians Mason (guitars) and Ed Paulsen on bass, and the skilled outfit continues their spot on latter era Death homage to precise levels of mimicry.

The Sound Of Perseverance era Death worship is obvious, but superbly done down to Kollias’s Schuldiner -esque rasp.  The songs all deliver a progressive tech death tour de force, with a focus on shifty, crystalline riffs and complex rhythms and time changes. Do not come to this album looking for a beat down of hefty lumbering grooves.

This is one of those albums that you don’t put on for a quick metal fix. This album requires your full attention, and headphones so you can appreciate all that is going on especially Paulsen’s bass work, which imbues some Testimony era Pestilence .  Standout tracks (although all are top notch) include “The Petition”, “My Curse” and  8 minute closer “Whomsoever Worships the Whiteworm”, with its dizzying mix of elegant acoustics, shuddering, stop start, intelligent riffage and supine lead work. My only minor gripe is that production is a bit dry and sterile , I really had to crank the bass on various players to allow Paulsen to be truly heard and felt. But it sort of suits the style Contrarian play.

Lots of bands have latched on the Leprosy/Spiritual Healing era of Death with success (i.e. Gruesome) , but Contrarian are the clear leader when it comes to the latter Death era from Human, Individual Though Patterns and The Sound of Perseverance, nailing the tone, skill and song crafting to a Tee. Also, as a final note, that is one GREAT album cover from Marco Hasmann.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by E. Thomas
March 27th, 2019

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