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Contrast of Sin, “Race of Man,” from Summer Promo (Arduous Path, 2019)

I don't know shit about Contrast of Sin and can't even remember how they crossed my path last week. All I recall was seeing the band name and thinking, "Well, they've gotta be Integrity fans, right?" I'm also a sucker for New Jersey, though, so seeing that the lineup was split between New Jersey and Delaware was added motivation to go ahead and look 'em up.

I was not disappointed.

Expect furious metallic hardcore that's not breaking the mold, but isn't following the trends of the day either. The approach is straightforward and to the point but not stale, with loads of thrashy-yet-beefy rhythmic chugs sans any of that overly heavy nu-beatdown vibe, and only the slightest tinge of dissonance here and there. Explosive vocals and aggressively spiteful lyrics, too—and this track even boasts a Charles Manson sample—but even when combined with their scorching energy, I wouldn't really draw comparisons to the usual suspects from those angles either. It's just well-written, well-produced, no complaints. Period.

I check out so many bands of this general nature these days and within seconds I can almost always find a handful of reasons to feel pretty "eh" about 'em, but Contrast of Sin is the first such outfit in a while where I've been 100% on board almost immediately. This is one hell of a debut. Apparently it's due out on cassette later this month through Arduous Path Recordings.