Sometimes an album title can be literal as an undermining hint to the overall collective of the work. Some bands want to spell it out for you, while others let you take the journey and come to the deliberation of your own. When I first started listening to Schammasch‘s album, Contradiction I immediately knew it was going to be heavy as all hell. They are a Swiss Black Metal band, after all. There are almost tranquil moments of beauty within the madness of the 84-minute double album. Many may not think of the word “tranquil” when associated with the death metal genre, but it’s what the title of the album suggests.
Contradiction starts off with a 10-minute and 42 second opus, that starts off quite peaceful and atmospheric. Towards the end of the build up, the lava emerges out of the volcano with aggressive guitar and elaborate percussion. The underlying acoustic guitar that emerges throughout the track displays the band’s ability to step out of the death metal mold. Songs like “Crown” and “Until Our Poison Devours Us” seem to take the listener on a roller coaster of musical arrangements. The devil is in the details and Schammasch pays close attention to how their songs progress to construct a certain journey.
Within the second part of the album is a track called “The Inner World” that may be one of the most rock-driven pieces. The last track, “JHWH” brings back to my commentary on the title. The song is full of twists and turns complete with an acoustic solo that leads into a more evil tone where the quintet shines. Vocalist C.S.R. fits the mold of the music as his vocals can go from methodically brooding to a serene chanting. The raspy affliction embodies the whole dark vibe of Contraction.
I’ve dabbled in Black Metal and Contraction exposed me to the very technical side of the genre. You can tell that Schammasch crossed their “t’s” and dotted their “i’s” with every detail and it poses for a listen that could be a theme for a well written horror film.