Wednesday, February 1, 2017

CONTRASTIC - Contrastic (re-issue) review

CONTRASTIC - Contrastic (re-issue)

Horror Pain Gore Death Productions

Ok get ready for this, I never listened to or heard of CONTRASTIC before getting this promo for their self titled re-issue. Shall I give you a minute to hurl insults at me, maybe two minutes? Alright now since I'm not a Grindcore snob/connesuir, as if that number is huge, let me get to the basics. CONTRASTIC were/are a grindcore act that came out of the Czech Republic in the early nineties. In 2000 they released their self titled debut full length on CD via Shindy Productions. Not long after that the band split up but this release made such an impact on the grind community that CONTRASTIC attained a cult status. It was enough so that the band got back together to play the Maryland Deathfest in 2013. A year after that they shared a split release, titled Jarmo, with Slovakian grind lords ATTACK OF RAGE.

So now after giving this a dozen plays I can see why CONTRASTIC are as popular today with the grind crowd as they were in their heyday. In 2000 these Czechs came out of no where to rewrite the whole grind template. They were the innovators at least in their neck of the woods and for someone like me who's not a grind enthusiast this was an education. CONTRASTIC didn't just add hardcore, jazz fusion, funk, techno and not so basic pitch shifts that'll snap your neck to their brand of death/grind They melded those influences to make it all sound natural and fluid. I'm guessing this was the benchmark for what people today call avant-grind. 

I asked a friend, who I'd call a grind enthusiast, via an FB message to see what he knew about CONTRASTIC and their supposed cult status. Of course I kinda knew the answer ahead of time. Fanzines and tape trading was our generation's way to discover obscure bands. Then came the internet and with it music forums, file sharing and full album plays on Youtube. Something else that's funny, years ago people like us wanted all of our fave vinyl releases re-issued on CD with extra tracks, extensive liner notes and artwork. Now people want their CD only or cassette releases on vinyl. Yes life has come full circle.

This CONTRASTIC debut is seeing it's first time on vinyl and it was audio remastered specifically for vinyl. The package also contains some extras like a poster and new cover art. Yeah the collectors want their goodies.

Rating: 5/5

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