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Unexplored possibilities - 71%

Felix 1666, April 21st, 2015
Written based on this version: 2006, CD, Armageddon Music

Contradiction is a band that is able to write excellent tracks, but the guys seem to be overburdened with the task to construct an equally excellent full-length. I am not familiar with each and every of their outputs and I do not wish to offend them. But I know "The Voice of Hatred" and "The Essence of Anger" as well as the here presented album. Both are more or less significantly better than "The Warchitect" without leaving a sweeping effect. "The Warchitect" itself makes it difficult for the listener to stay concentrated during the entire playtime. While the German thrash squadron prefers a medium-hard approach, approximately half of the pieces fail to offer outstanding features. This is a pity because the technical competent band does not much wrong. Nevertheless, that certain something is missing.

There is no question that "The Warchitect" has its highlights. For example, the very raw vocals of Oliver Lux make a good impression while having a "hard working man attitude". The clear and powerful production delivers the right degree of pressure and the band is striving successfully for the necessary variety. Speaking of the best songs, "The Heritage" shines with a vibrant bridge and a gripping chorus. Edgy riffs drive the tune from the first second. In contrast to that, the title track starts with a relaxed atmosphere. But its intensity increases constantly during verse, bridge and chorus so that this song convinces with its exceptionally strong construction. To give another example, "The End of All Things to Come" has a brilliant chorus, very catchy and menacing at the same time. Inter alia these tracks prove that Contradiction actually does not need to fear its competitors.

But there is also an other side of the coin. Contradiction would have been well advised to focus on nine or ten tracks instead of recording twelve pieces. In general, their kind of no frills thrash metal corresponds to my musical taste. But playing the "right" style of music is one thing. The quality of the implementation is another. Half-baked tracks like "Peacemaker" or the miscarried opener "Your God" lack of inspiring ideas. They do not deliver remarkable riffs and their configuration seems to be carelessly designed. Or lend an ear to "Godsend". It turns out to be a flop due to its very weak background vocals. In view of the better tracks of this album, these toothless fillers could have been avoided. Thus, I cannot get rid of the feeling that the band is punching below its weight. Irrespective of this, I do not understand the stupid "motherfucker-lyrics" of the eleventh track. This is Wuppertal, not Brooklyn, and Biohazard have to be left outside. Fortunately, these brainless lines are the exception to the rule. Generally speaking, Contradiction presents solid, fairly political lyrics without missionary eagerness. And "solid" is also the word which describes the entire product accurately.

Good warstructure, but shaky wardesign - 68%

autothrall, March 8th, 2011

The Warchitect is the second Contradiction album through the Armageddon label, their fifth full-length overall and honestly not all that different from its predecessor The Voice of Hatred. Thick, chugging rhythms and meaty vocals are blended with the straight charging of Bay Area-style thrash metal, with perhaps a dash of the great Denmark band Artillery thrown in there for excitement. My initial reaction to this record was one of intimate boredom, but I must have been listening with my rectum and not my ears, because this is actually a step ahead of the last, even though it's only about half worth hearing and the other half too easily forgotten.

They know how to pull you into a track, regardless of whether you'll feel like staying there for long, and they definitely do so with the virulent force of "Your God", which feels like a blend of Slayer, Kreator, Exodus and Vio-Lence with the distinct, hammering vocals of Oliver Lux. Unfortunately, once you get past that initial verse riff, there's not a pleasant surprise to be had, just a series of guitars of diminishing value. Same with "The Warchitect" itself, which has quite a strong melodic setup and another, similar charging riff to "Your God" in the verses, but then also has a pretty boring, if brief breakdown chug. Often the songs will bleed together in composition, technically different but sounding quite the same ("Tunes of War", "The Heritage"), but there's always at least 1-2 redeeming features, except for some of the cuts deeper into the track list like "Peacemaker" which is just flubby groove/thrash metal, or "What Am I" which has amazing vocals but incredibly mundane riffing.

They've got a cover of Motörhead's "Rock'n'Roll" here, but it doesn't really match the band, and with Lux already having such a grimy, industrial gravel voice I didn't feel like there was a need to further ape Lemmy. All said, I will admit that the production on The Warchitect is quite good. It's decent thrashing which never seeks to insult you (outside of maybe having a song called "Thrash Metal") and the guitar tone and vocals sound really good, if methodical. The real issue here is that the band continued to lack distinct songwriting, especially in variation, so a lot o this album just sounds the same. If you're tracking them down for the first time, I'd recommend to start with their 2009 album The Essence of Anger, which is the best I've heard from them yet.

-autothrall
http://www.fromthedustreturned.com