Contagion offers an incredible blend of classic death metal and hardcore styles throughout the texture of their EP. One minute, blast beats and low vocals are snapping your spine with their incredible brutality, the next, hardcore-esque two-step/breakdown build ups and “bark” style vocals are leaving you waiting for the next time they’re going to drop the beat and lay down a filthy breakdown pattern. Vocalist Chad Coffin’s low vocal attacks on the mic are reminiscent of John Gallagher’s (Dying Fetus vocalist/guitarist), giving the entire album an intense death metal feel. Unrelenting down-tuned guitar riffs keep the tracks interesting and flowing with extreme precision, accompanied by a rhythm section that provides interesting tempos for the band to consort with.
All instrumental textures on this release each have their own time at the forefront of the songs, something that is not so often utilized by bands today. Steady bass lines and pounding drum fills keep the rhythm of the song, but always seem to shine at one point or another during the tracks. The guitar attacks you with its emphatically heavy tone, making listeners want to stop what they’re doing and jump into a pit the second they hear a breakdown. Coffin’s ability to match these progressions with different vocal tones makes the whole EP blend terrifically.
My favorite track was the last track, Parasitic Breeding. First of all, this track is three and a half minutes of pure power. The band gives it their all the entire track. The breakdowns are interesting and well executed, while the two-step at the latter part of the song leads into a bass line that makes you just absolutely giddy at what’s about to come next. A slow, menacing breakdown fills the last 20 seconds of the track before fading into silence, really rounding off the end of this EP soundly and fully.
This release is only the first half of their EP Lockdown. The band has said that they plan on putting out the rest, but it could take until this summer. I can’t wait to hear the rest of this release, and look forward to hopefully reviewing it in the future! If you’re a fan of groovy death metal that offers insane diversity and vocal textures, Contagion is your band. You can download the EP for free off their bandcamp, and I encourage everyone to do so.
For Fans Of: The Last Ten Seconds of Life, Existence, Frontlines, Years Since The Storm