Historically Australia has brought us some of the most depraved, disgusting, and filth-ridden death metal in existence. For some reason, there’s a disproportionate abundance of disturbed songwriters living there. The next band in this style is Contaminated, a two-piece group formed only last year. “Pestilential Decay” is their first demo, and it is brought to us courtesy of Australian label Crawling Chaos Productions. This demo is truly a sickening creation, and if you crave abhorrent death metal, it is for you.
The first thing you’ll notice about “Pestilential Decay” is the atmosphere it creates. It is absolutely cavernous. The riffs are huge, and yet, they sound distant. There’s influence from all of the death metal greats. There are crushing harmonized guitars (see “Formless Wastes”) not unlike some used by a band like Autopsy. An Immolation-styled riff pops out of nowhere on “Forlorn and Desolate”, while the other tracks are littered with tremolo picked riffs in a mid-tempo fashion that recall bands like Depravity. There’s plenty of speed too. Blast beats are in good supply on this demo, but certainly not abused. Doomy riffs will also show up constantly, and are used to great effect on the title track. There is excellent attention to detail in terms of creating an aura of dread. This feeling is primarily derived from the production. The bass playing may be non-existent, but the drums and guitars get the job done. Both of them sound like they were recorded with the microphones 10 feet away. As a result, the production isn’t in your face. The grunts are low in the mix and completely indecipherable. Ultimately, it all comes together quite nicely to create a unique sound.
Normally I put a lot of emphasis on the quality of songwriting in a release, but Contaminated plays a style of music that has no business creating memorable songwriting. If there are hooks here, they haven’t quite done their job. Still, even if you don’t like this style of death metal, the atmosphere is a huge redeeming factor. The other one is the plethora of influences that are drawn from. There is no one band that you can say Contaminated sounds like, mainly because they pay homage to a ton of legendary bands. When all is said and done, this is a demo worth owning because it manages to be unique and interesting in a style that is very hard to stand out in.
Be sure to check out and like Contaminated on Facebook!
All of it
3.75/5 or 75%.
Written by Scott