Pittsburgh’s technical death metal unleash the unborn on debut EP.
Formed in 2005 it’s been a long old road that Victims of Contagion have travelled to get to their debut release. Perhaps the frustration of the near ten year wait, and several line-up changes, to get their first official recording out is amplified through their aggressive, snarly brand of jazz-inflected technical death metal which is as heavy and brutal as it is, at times, melodic and progressive.
Opener “A Miscalculation” is actually far from it. On first listen it appears, without you knowing, to give you a heavy hint of what the rest of the EP contains, all in one track. From the traditional rolling thunder verses to the neat breakdowns and spiralling guitar solos it’s all covered in the throaty growl for which the genre has become synonymous.
The title track “The Parasitic Unborn” is the longest, clocking in at an impressive 7 ½ minutes, and also most brutal of the five tracks on offer. Again it covers all the bases one would expect, or even demand, from a top quality death metal band without the need for repetition.
The band have cited Death, Suffocation and Cannibal Corpse as key inspirations in their sound and you can certainly hear bits of those bands on this release but it’s very much in homage and not in replication.
“Subservience” which features former member of the aforementioned seminal death metal band Death, Bobby Koelble, who lends his considerable technical guitar talent to the track, which elevates it beyond the standard formula and into something truly special.
Rounding proceedings off is the bone-rattling “Terminal Evolution” which begins with a brief but soaring guitar solo before descending into the fiery pit of blastbeats and staccato’s that take The guitar playing is a highlight on this album with some beautiful arpeggios contrasting the often thick and punishing riffs. Rumbling bass lines and tight but ferocious drumming all contribute to a powerful sound and allows the listener to be intricately overwhelmed.
With every box ticked then, it surely won’t be too long before the word spreads, like a metallic disease, and this band can, with a decent support slot or two, accelerate the rise that their ability deserves.
Victims…..aren’t we all?
Donnie’s Rating: 8.5/10
Bob Meister (Vocals)
Chuck Forsythe (Guitar)
Jon Haden (Guitar)
Tim Church (Bass)
Mike Rush (Drums)