Contrastic
Contrastic


4.5
superb

Review

by blou52 USER (12 Reviews)
June 14th, 2019 | 24 replies


Release Date: 1999 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Incredibly unique and sadly forgotten death-grind from the Czech Republic

Grindcore is one of the most straightforward metal genres. The songs are often times under two minutes in length, the drumming is mainly blast beats, and there is often little to no melody, leaving only aggression. So when a grind band changes up that formula, it makes it even more special. Contrastic is one of the bands who change it up, and their self-titled album is their opus. Featuring everything from piano to techno music, Contrastic is an album full of surprises.

The interesting thing about Contrastic is that the album may be grindcore, but it goes about creating that sound in experimental and unusual ways by integrating many different unconventional instruments and other music genres that, at first glance, would seem out of place on a grind record . Take “Chopins Ulcerous Colic” as an example. This song has a pervasive use of piano played in just such a way that it conveys a sense of madness rather than the melody and beauty that the instrument is typically known for. Despite the strange choice, the piano fits with the rest of the chaos of the album surrounding it. The cacophony of sounds created manage to not only work as death-grind, but excel at it. The instruments feed off each others eccentricity throughout the duration of the album. Another example can be seen in the song “Vocalic System from the Perspective of a Social Distinctiveness” where there is frequent use of synthesizer to add to the intensity of the song. The use of synthesizer gives this track an almost psychedelic feel at parts and completely changes the style from punishing grind one second, to something entirely different the next. Another aspect that’s worth mentioning is the use of cowbell. By using cowbell in multiple songs along with ridiculous song titles and artwork, Contrastic let’s listeners know that this album isn’t entirely serious.

Not only are the instruments varied, but the vocals have many variations. The two most common styles are a deep death growl and a raspy screech. Some of the supplements to these two styles are gang shouts, raspy yells, and even the occasional spoken word part. With “Putti” credited as the sole vocalist, we have to assume that all these vocals were done entirely by him. Very rarely does a vocalist have such a range of styles used, and even less common are all the different styles used on a single album.

While not quite as astounding as the vocals, the guitars and bass on Contrastic are unpredictable and fabulous in their own right. While the playing is like traditional grindcore at some sections, there are also times when it becomes much more melodic like on “Verschrottung durch Arbeit”. The bass sounds monstrous at times, like during the opening track. The playing is generally stuck at a fast tempo for the majority of the album, but there are some instances where it dips down in pace. For both instruments, the playing is tight and of high quality. Both guitarist “Polu” and bassist “U.B.I.N.A.” prove that they know their way around their instrument of choice.

Possibly the least interesting aspect of the album is the drumming. Performed by “Trisy”, the drums stick to blast beats and double bass drums when they're not backing up the stranger parts of Contrastic . During these more experimental sections, the drumming sticks closer to traditional drum patterns rather than those found in extreme metal. While the drums aren’t particularly mind-boggling, this is most likely because Trisy was also the effects programmer for the album. Being that he had dual duty, he put forth a commendable effort on drums.

The production is possibly the only negative aspect of Contrastic . It’s not particularly poor, it's just mediocre. When all the other aspects of the album are better, it doesn't hold up to scrutiny. The guitars are distorted and it can be difficult to pick out what is being played at times. The production job on the drums and vocals is decent enough, just don’t expect Scott Burns quality. However, this is only a minor complaint as the album is exceedingly short, so there isn’t much time for the production to become grating or uncomfortable.

When I first discovered this album, I was blown away by how crazy it sounded. Even those that don’t like the harshness of grindcore may find that worth a listen thanks to it’s wide variation in style. Albums as unique as Contrastic are in short supply and all prospective listeners should attempt a listen to this, even if just for the novelty of it.



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user ratings (45)
Chart.
3.7
great


Comments:Add a Comment 
metalhead2425
June 14th 2019


299 Comments


Greatest album cover of all time bar none

blou52
June 14th 2019


154 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Album is a 4.5, but the artwork is a 5. Picasso who?

foxblood
June 14th 2019


9787 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

omg this got a review :0

brainmelter
June 14th 2019


6506 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Never thought I’d see the day

Digging: Grey Aura - 2: De bezwijkende deugd

CaptainDooRight
June 14th 2019


4091 Comments


Ariel lives

Kompys2000
June 14th 2019


2891 Comments


Ooh this sound cool, will check soonish

blou52
June 14th 2019


154 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This was actually a contender for being the first thing I reviewed, but I couldn't think how at the time

Asdfp277
June 14th 2019


20810 Comments


lmao the artwork

RippingCorpse1986
June 15th 2019


3226 Comments


Wait this didn't have a review yet?

That album cover always makes me laugh my ass off. Been meaning to give this one a try someday. Good review, pos'd.

blou52
June 15th 2019


154 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Truly, the Czech people are masters of art

Frost1620
June 15th 2019


10 Comments


If it wasn't for the cover art, nobody would have actually cared to listen to this album.

brainmelter
June 15th 2019


6506 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

worthy first comment

metalhead2425
June 15th 2019


299 Comments


Too bad the vinyl ditched the stunning artwork

Source
June 15th 2019


12326 Comments


Whats with this Ariel slander

metalhead2425
June 15th 2019


299 Comments


That wasn’t sarcastic I’m legit bummed out

metalhead2425
June 15th 2019


299 Comments


I should probably jam this again. Album is crazy

Frost1620
June 15th 2019


10 Comments


The cover art was too good for this world.

blou52
June 15th 2019


154 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Any disrespect for Ariel will not be tolerated

blou52
June 15th 2019


154 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

The cassette release of this has a band member nude and holding up an Ariel mask

Frost1620
June 15th 2019


10 Comments


Amazing



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