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Contrastic - Mamun review

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Band: Contrastic
Album: Mamun
Release date: December 2020

01. Na Márách
02. Tarvas Maniacus
03. Mentální Výtok
04. Tenkrát Na Serveru
05. Koile
06. Oni
07. Sluebně Starí Nacista
08. National Razor
09. Homoheresy

The concept that there is a new Contrastic record out feels absolutely surreal to me. The fact that grind fans aren't freaking out about it is instead saddening.

Contrastic's debut self-titled album from 2000 had its cover art be a crudely colored drawing of Ariel from Disney's version of The Little Mermaid. It was one of the most forward-thinking, funny, and bizarre deathgrind records. But this isn't that uncommon from a scene that also gave us !T.O.O.H.! and Lykathea Aflame, all three coincidentally releasing their debut full lengths in the same year, and all three finding ways to make either grind, death metal, or both into something quirky and manic, and though only !T.O.O.H.! would be the more active of the bunch and find some ounce of success, Contrastic broke up in 2005 without releasing any other albums. As of a few days ago, they're no longer a "one-hit wonder".

Though they did reunite in 2012 (with only one member of four changed), and releasing the Jařmo EP in 2014, Mamun is the real deal. Continuing the trend of bizarre and really inappropriate cartoon drawings for cover arts (though nothing beats the classic Ariel one) that I'm sure will be a major red flag for most people seeing this album in the "New releases" section, as it probably would've been for me as well if the name didn't ring some bells. Now we have Mamun, which has admittedly a pretty different record from Contrastic, which is to be expected if 20 years pass, but here we have a more mature and less intense record basically. Sadly, no more cowbells. Thankfully, the technical aspects of the record have been amped, and the energy this has is a bit more calculated rather than chaotic. And when I say that it's less chaotic, I just mean it by Contrastic's standards.

The blasts and riffs and screams during the meatier parts are obviously intense as one can hope from a grind band, but they turn to a more melodic sound fairly quickly. Contrastic have always been pretty great at moving all over the place with their sound, and infusing the grind with melodies and outside sounds, but the lack of cowbell has definitely been compensated with how well integrated rather than chaotic these influences seem, from samples, to electronica, to jazz. For the most part this is still just a technical deathgrind album that flourishes into other territories far more often than others of its type, but a technical deathgrind album nonetheless, and they really sound a lot more cohesive, well-rounded and memorable in a mere 25 minutes.

So you can definitely feel that this is an album that has Contrastic age 20 years from the last we heard of them. This brings outcomes both good and bad. But missing out on this is a disservice to the grind.

Written on 20.12.2020 by Doesn't matter that much to me if you agree with me, as long as you checked the album out.


Comments: 7   Visited by: 71 users
20.12.2020 - 18:29
Rating: 8
Troy Killjoy
It's difficult to be excited about a release by a band you've never heard of.

I'll start with the debut though as it seems to be fairly well received everywhere. Not too surprised about the cover artworks considering grind bands are typically gimmicky, humorous, and self-parodying.
"Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools because they have to say something."
20.12.2020 - 18:35
Rating: 9
Written by Troy Killjoy on 20.12.2020 at 18:29

It's difficult to be excited about a release by a band you've never heard of.

I'll start with the debut though as it seems to be fairly well received everywhere.

Then my work here is done.
Do you think if the heart keeps on shrinking
One day there will be no heart at all?
20.12.2020 - 19:27
Rating: 8

Holy sh*t is this amazing. I haven't heard of them either and at first I was a bit turned off because of the album artwork but aside from that it's a "Don't judge a book by its cover" type of deal. The samples used in this feel like classic hip-hop samples. The experimental touches are nice. I'm not a huge fan of grindcore at all but this gives me hope of finding something within the genre that excited me as much as this. I will have to listen to their debut as well.
21.12.2020 - 18:48
Rating: 8

This is actually pretty likeable for grindcore; it's not just full-pelt violence, there's some range in there, which is nice. I can hear hints of TOOH in there as well
22.12.2020 - 10:10
Written by RaduP on 20.12.2020 at 18:35

Then my work here is done.

Indeed your work is done. I also checked this one out and it sounds pretty good. Then, I listened to the debut and, oh my, what a fantastic album that is for the genre.
23.12.2020 - 10:23
Rating: 9

I know that i listened to their debut a long ass fucking time ago but had no idea that they had released a followup. Thanks for bringing it into the light of day . Needed a good Grind-fix. Shame it's not on spotify, would make it easier to blast it at work ^^. (And great review mate)
24.12.2020 - 12:43
Rating: 8
i c deaf people
Never heard of these guys before either and I would certainly have missed out on this without Radu's review. The cover artwork's central message "Don't try me out, I have nothing to offer for you" was simply too much of a distracting stimulus for my one-dimensional esthetical perception.

Yet I tried it out and I love it, it's fantastic. The hilarious samples ("Ich schlafe mit Adolf Hitler") form a pleasant contrast in these days of feasting and joy without actually disturbing the currently prevailing holiday spirit too much - it's exactly what I needed.
signatures = SPAM

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