Contusio – Unrest In Peace (Self Release)
Review by Milos Sebalj
I’m going to take a wild guess that you haven’t got a clue about Bosnian Death Metal scene. Well, believe it or not, there are bands out there, on the left hand side of river Drina. Death Metal in particular had some fairly prominent figures, such as Agonize or Toxicdeath, for best examples. Toxicdeath even sharing a drummer with the band in question here. What’s more interesting, most of representatives of the genre come from the town of Tuzla, just like the heroes of this review. Thus, I must recommend checking out the said locality to every Death fan.
Now, Contusio is not a newcomer, although “Unrest In Peace” is their debut full length album. They’ve been around since 2007, but they have produced just a couple of shorter releases. Not having heard them before, I’m simply going to assume they used them to gain experience and figure out where they want to go with their music. And it is not another wild guess, as the thought put behind their creation is clearly heard on the album itself.
Being deeply rooted in the old school of (mostly European) Death Metal, Contusio manages to implement a variety of different influences to their style and, by doing that, create an interesting take on the standard form of the genre. While you can hardly call their music original (it is fair to say it wasn’t the primary concern anyway), one can certainly find enough variety in these 52 minutes to avoid calling these Bosnians ‘just another Death Metal band’. Vader might be close to their hearts, but the Thrash Metal component on “Unrest In Peace” is given a slightly bigger role than with the Poles. At the other end of the rope, there are Grindcore, or even clear Hardcore passages that are fitted nicely so as not to disturb any of the more narrow-minded fans. With all that combined you can rest assured that the intensity of the release is kept throughout. As brutal as it needs to be and diverse enough to give your neck a proper workout. Oh, and this quartet has some serious courage in store for you. Releasing a six minute long instrumental is not something any band can do. Furthermore, the track itself is awesome which bring me to the technical side of the album.
About that… I have absolutely no complaints. It is obvious I’m dealing with highly skilled musicians on every instrument. Maybe the bass guitar could have been given more room in the final mix, but it’s not like it is not present. Most of the ‘heavy lifting’ is done by the guitars and drums, both performed to perfection, but without exaggeration. None of the progressive showing off is present here. Every riff, solo or drum pattern is put in its place to serve the song and not some overactive musician’s ego.
I didn’t get a chance to read the lyrics and I just might be better off without them. Judging from the titles themselves, it is possible that the words behind them fall unto some serious clichés. Then again, judging by the overall impression given above about this record being well thought, I might be terribly wrong.
To top it all off, “Unrest In Peace” is hiding behind a brilliant cover artwork, reminding me of some King Diamond scenery. Fits like a glove and makes it a terrible shame that this album is available only digitally. For now, I would hope.
Do yourself a favor and give these guys a chance. If nothing, Death Metal from Bosnia & Herzegovina is still an ‘exotic flavor’ for most people. It could prove to be just what your ever hungry Death Metal soul needs.