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CONTRIVE ‘Slow Dissolve’

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Australia needs no introduction to twins Andrew and Paul Haug. They have been the central part of Melbourne-based band Contrive since 1999 while many of us tuned in religiously to Andrew’s weekly radio show to get our fix of whatever was new in metal as well. Now after three years apart, and with a line-up that is now just Andrew and Paul, Contrive are back with their brand new album – Slow Dissolve.

It really has been all hands on deck for Andrew and Paul with this new album. Not only are they the only musicians to feature on but they also produced it as well, and the result is a tight album that sounds raw but is different to anything else that we have heard so far this year. You soon realise that when listening to Slow Dissolve you never really know what direction each track is going to take – one moment you are listening to a piece of sheer brutality and the next you are listening to a softer piece of music that really does show that musical skills of the Haug twins.

The faded out vocals that greet the listener on opening track “Connect-dead” brings a dark feeling to the album and then when the melody of the chorus hits it is a complete surprise… you should be prepared for a lot of nice surprises on Slow Dissolve because there are a few. “What’s Mine” sees the twins deliver moments of true brutality and then showcase some mellow sounds that make the track feel like something that The Butterfly Effect would have been very proud of.

That raw feeling that resonates over the whole album is never more obvious than on “The Immediate Age” – a track that also showcases what a fine vocalist Paul is. The slower start to “You’re Owned” really draws its audience in, and then as the whole track comes together, you realise that it has single written all over it.

Slow Dissolve then goes in a completely different direction with “The Human Game” delivering some thought-provoking spoken word over some brilliant instrumentals before the album then goes into the smoother “Throwaway.” Once again, the album lifts with “Below The Line” which, once again, showcases Paul’s vocals before closing with one of the most brutal tracks on the album – “Slow Dissolve.” Once again, this is a track that reaches some real lengths of hardcore genius before pulling way back to some moments of true peace… it just highlights the true musicianship that Andrew and Paul show throughout the album.

This is an album that sounds like it has much more than just two musicians playing on it. This is eight solid tracks that will have you falling in love with Contrive all over again.

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