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Contemplating Murder
Contemplating Murder

I was recently approached by Ryan Parks to review his band Contemplating Murder and upon hearing that his music was partly inspired by horror movies – I immediately got excited to hear the material. What struck me right away was the venomous sound, coupled with the gut wrenching vocals. Perhaps part sludgy, and most definitely exhibiting that razor sharp sensibility throughout every song – Contemplating Murder is a band on the rise.

The opening track “True Knot” is inspired by Stephen King’s Dr. Sleep and it starts out with a sludgy opening, before blistering into a real rager – very reminiscent of later period Carcass. The doomy tone of “Seventeen” hits very hard and the drumming is superb here, while Ryan’s vocals cut through like glass shredding skin. Then the band slips into sludgy/doom mode on “Helland” and what comes to mind is not unlike the recent material from Dream Death.

The real treat on this release is a track called “Tragedy” which uncoils like a deadly serpent spewing the vilest of venom. The riffs are razor sharp and Ryan’s vocals are the main attraction here in my humblest of estimations. It’s no wonder horror filmmaker James Balsamo handpicked this number to be used in his upcoming feature “Killer Waves”. The next number to follow is “Poetry in Madness” which pushes the sludgy/doomy/death template to the fullest extent and I can tell you it won’t disappoint.

The song called “Son of the Dragon” gets back to classic horror homage with lyrics that tell the tale of Vlad the Impaler. The song is told solely through Vlad’s perspective and it’s quite unique in terms of pacing and song structure. There’s an extremely greasy sounding riff that propels the song and it will creep you out a bit. The final song to follow is a cover of Venom’s “Countess Bathory” taken from their classic Black Metal album. This is a fairly faithful rendition and one that ends the album off on the right note.

Contemplating Murder
Contemplating Murder
Written by: Kenneth Gallant
9 out of 10

On a whole though, Contemplating Murder rely on a template that reminds me of parts Carcass, Kreator and Dream Death. When you think about these bands, you probably already know what to expect – sludgy, doomy and definitive sounding death metal to rattle your cage and shake those doldrums from out of your bones. Trust me, this band won’t disappoint you and I hear the group are working on new material – so the future is bright for these three lads.

My favorite tracks are “Seventeen”, “Tragedy” and “Poetry in Madness”. Currently this is a self-released album from the band, so click on the album cover image above to visit their Facebook page.

Kenneth Gallant, HMS

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