The Pitch: "Rooted in early 90’s progressive death metal, but with an unrelenting forward thinking approach, Contrarian return with their second full length album To Perceive Is To Suffer" Avant-garde progressive death metal from Willowtip FFO: Mithras, Ingurgitating Oblivion, Horrendous
What I Like: Jim Tasikas, the leader of this project, is a skillful musician and masterful composer. Each of these tracks is a study in impressive guitar, drum, and bass work. The latter is especially notable; bobbing between ameldodic approaches that invoke purposeful tension and discomfort on a psychological level and more traditional, ear-pleasing hooks. And regardless of which direction it goes, the bass is an inseperable component of the finished product. As for the drums, I may need only drop the name of the person in question, George Kollias (Nile), to further illistrate the technical proficiency involved. Make no mistake, all of the musicianship on display here is both impressive and unique. And while the band doesn't really sound anything like Opeth, they evoke a similar sense of murky bleakness and isolation as albums like Orchid, Still Life, and My Arms Your Hearse. All of this on an instrumental level more akin to Gorguts or Coma Cluster Void with just a a touch of Enslaved in the vocals.
Critiques: I have some qualms with the production of this album. While I like how the rough, raw nature of the recording plays into the old school influences, I'm not sure that it fully allows the instrumentation to shine. Also, "At Fate's Hands" kind of stinks. This album is ripe for a little clean singing, but the choice of melody and overall performance on this song is the one moment I reach for the skip button.
The Verdict: As with most works with an avant-garde angle, not everything in this album is instantly digestible. In fact, my first listen or two didn't garner my full attention; but this is arguably a strength rather than a weakness. Fine art is meant to challenge the viewer or listener; not cater to obvious desires. And so it is with To Perceive Is To Suffer. Challenge your own senses and interpretations with the stream below.
Flight's Fav's: Reunion at Gramos, Transcend the Mundane, Purpose Seeker
-Review by FlightOfIcarus
If you enjoyed this article, be sure to share it with others to help us grow. You can also like and follow us on the social media of your choice with Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and support us on Patreon.