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Contaminated - Relapse Records Sampler Vol. 7 Review
by Hobo

* indicates that I have not heard this band before listening to this sampler

Mastodon - Blood and Thunder

Mastodon are simply one of the most groundbreaking, innovative and interesting rock/metal bands around today - melody, musicianship, power, brutality, song-writing ability - they have it all. Unfortunately (for Relapse) they have signed with a major label (Warner Bros I believe?), but their releases on Relapse Records are simply brilliant. If you don't know who these guys are - take corrective action.

High on Fire - Devilution

A catchy stoner rock/metal track from a band that formed from the ashes of the 'legendary stoner/metal' band Sleep. Features Mike Patt from Sleep on guitars/vocals as well as Joe Preseton who played with The Melvins and Earth.

The Dillinger Escape Plan - Setting Fire to Sleeping Giants

The extremely powerful Dillinger Escape Plan - what can be said about them? They fuse hardcore, mathcore, power violence and grind with jazz-leanings. Their newest album is a fair bit more accessible than their debut, but brutal, aggressive and skull-shattering none the less - they have compromised nothing. One of Relapse Record's greatest assets and one mind-blowing release (Miss Machine).

Nile - Lashed to the Slave Stick

Breaking new ground for brutal technical death metal come these Egyptian mythology-obsessed gods. If you want to see the violent and cruel evolution of Morbid Angel look no further. Intensely dark and relentless. Their musicianship will blow your mind - especially that of (current) drummer George Kollias.

Pig Destroyer - Gravedancer

Another brilliant innovator! Pig Destroyer are here to redefine grind as we know it with the sporadic, violent and brilliantly-written poetic laments of J. R. Hayes and the breath-takingly fresh riffing of Scott Hull (Agoraphobic Nosebleed, Anal c***). Combines punk, hardcore, thrash, death and grind into a grotesque grind beast - they have achieved more as a three piece than most bands ever could with five members!

Zeke - Chinatown

Zeke are a kick-ass thrashy, rock & and roll come punk band. Catchy riffs and stylish solos - like The Dwarves sped up with that unmistakable Motorhead attitude. Sex, drugs and f***in' rock & roll - a simple formula that only a band with punk rock in its blood can seem to pull off.

Planes Mistaken for Stars - Thunder in the Night Forever*

A somewhat melodic punk-rock band. I can't seem to find any info on this band (not even on the Relapse site!), but they seem decent enough.

Unsane - Release*

A particularly abrasive noisy rock band - metallic riffs, distorted vocals, cool rhythms, all cemented with an aggressive attitude. The song didn't really grab me, though it wasn't bad enough for me to discount the band.

Soilent Green - Leaves of Three*

Soilent Green are a catchy, sludgy death/grind band. On this track they constantly switch between rapid-fire grind and Eyehategod style sludge - and pull off the mixture of contrasting styles surprisingly well. With a guitar tone that's as raw as hell, you know I've gotta go check out a few more of their tracks.

Cephalic Carnage - Dying Will be the Death of Me*

F*cking killer! Think Mastodon though more death/grind-orientated. You've still got those cool harmonic guitar interplays and bursts of technical brilliance in-between passages of grinding sludge and head banging death/rock goodness - and possible most unexpected of all, some clean vocals! Melody? Death/grind/sludge/rock? Where do I sign?! Extremely eclectic stuff here - definitely impressive. 

Necrophagist - Seven

I don't know about you guys, but I love brutal and technical death metal. Generic death metal (ie: Deicide) bores the s*** out of me. These guys are breaking new ground in technical death metal. Mind-bending technicality - imagine if Malmsteen played death metal and this would be the result. Really different, innovative riffs, somewhat in the vein of Cryptopsy, Nile and Origin. Damn cool.

Zombi - Orion*

Weird electronica s*** - sounds a bit like those Asian RPG games you used to play on the Super Nintendo. Not mindless electronica like mainstream techno or dance, but understandably, still not my thing…

Buried Inside - Time as Ideology*

Whoa - this is certainly hard to describe. Really off-the-wall, violent metalcore - but that's not a negative thing. They manage to inject some real energy and originality into their music with cool instrumental interplays, abstract lyrics and aggressive screams. A wall of dissonant noise and layed riffs. My interest is officially piqued.

Burst - Crystal Asunder*

What can be said about the Swedish melodic death band Burst? Quite similar to Buried Inside but with some added dynamics of melodic, clean vocals, some progressive and doom elements. More rooted in melodic death with some metalcore influences, much cleaner production. 

Leng Tch'e - Clarity Denied (demo version) 

Ahh, the brutal Leng Tch'e! What can I say, I f***in' love these guys - brutal grind with punk, rock and hardcore leanings, as well as a few gore/grind elements. How can you go wrong with the drummer from Aborted? Another exciting, progressive grind band from Relapse.

Cretin - Stim Fit*

This track didn't really catchy my ear. They're brutal grind, but the production hinders the band from having any meaningful impact - the guitars are too far into the background, the drums slowly fading into crowded backnoise. With better production they might actually be something.

The End - Dead Martyr

Combining technical death metal with hardcore-influenced-grindcore, The End are a brutal Canadian outfit I look forward to hearing more of in the future. They'll batter you with tricky time signatures, grinding metallic riffs and blast beats - then head into a stoner metal influenced departure until pummelling you once more with a brutal breakdown. Features the Burnt by the Sun vocalist.

Origin - The Burner

How I love Origin. They introduced me to technical death metal with their epic album Informis, Infinitas, Inhumanitas. Absolutely relentless - there is no other way to describe it. The dual-vocal attack, the catchy licks on top of the brutal, chugging juggernaut of grind. Jack-hammer brutality that refuses to let up for an instant. Listening to them is physically taxing. I lament the departure of the mighty John Longstreth however - an infinitesimal drop in drumming technicality can be noted - but no where enough to affect the enjoyment of this amazing death/grind band.

If you are unacquainted with some of Relapse Records awesome variety of metal, hardcore and rock get this disc - it'll open up doors to musical directions you would have never otherwise known existed. This sampler solidifies my image of Relapse as the most progressive and evolutionary label around today - a ridiculous variety of music and all of it top-f***in'-notch! 

CD Info and Links

Contaminated - Relapse Records Sampler Vol. 7
Label:Relapse Records

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