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Contrarian: Polemic

Once you get past the amazing artwork adorning Contrarian's debut album Polemic, you'll quickly find out that the music contained within is equally as impressive. This progressive/technical/avant-garde death metal act features drummer George Kollias (Nile), guitarists Brian Mason (Sulaco) and Leon Macey (Mithras), vocalist Cody McConnell (Goemagot), and guitarist Jim Tasikas and bassist Ed Paulsen, both from the New York-based progressive metal fusion act Delirium Endeavor. Willowtip Records has to be pretty stoked about this debut, as will death metal fans worldwide as they digest this adventurous platter of extreme metal majesty.

Blending a bit of latter period Death, as well as Cynic, Atheist, and Nile, Contrarian's arrangements fit in moments of slow, crushing brutality, speedy technical passages, and brooding atmosphere. Riffs zig-zag and pummel from all directions, with Kollias' acrobatic drumming blazing underneath alongside Paulsen's nimble, jazz-fusion styled bass lines, and McConnell's otherworldly growls just pulverizing everything in its path. Just listen to his mighty death roar on the massive "Foreknowledge" or the intricate yet brutal "Need For Apathy"...very impressive. The best aspect of this band though is they don't go for the jugular at a relentless pace, but instead drop in moments of tranquil beauty that utilize prog, jazz, folk, and ambient elements, offsetting the savage arrangements, making for a fascinating listen. Tunes like "Predestined" and "Libertarian Manifesto" do crush, but again, the added dose of melody goes a long way to giving these otherwise brutal death metal tracks even more depth. And let's not forget the sheer technicality of "Polemic", "Diogenes At Delphi", and "Nothing is Everything", featuring all sorts of wild guitar riffs, solos, drum blasts, and sinewy bass, tracks that will instantly appeal to any fan of Chuck Schuldiner and his band Death.

Polemic is one of those late 2015 releases that would have easily made my Best of 2015 list has I been exposed to it earlier. This is easily one of the best technical/progressive death metal records of the year folks, so don't miss it!

Track Listing
1. Polemic
2. Need For Apathy
3. Retrieval
4. Foreknowledge
5. Predestined
6. Libertarian Manifesto
7. Diogenes At Delphi
8. Nothing Is Everything

Added: December 22nd 2015
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Band Facebook Page
Hits: 2117
Language: english

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