"The Internal Dialogue" (Shock Music Oz; 2010)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton


Contrive's "The Internal Dialogue" is an interesting amalgam of punk rock, heavy metal and hardcore. The vocals tend to lean toward hardcore category, the rhythms and attitude are often very punk-like and yet the guitars have a very heavy metal crunch to them. Yet it all comes together in one solid package. Even the title track, which is (surprisingly) a smooth little "ballad-y" number with nice guitars, clean vocals and an undeniable hook, will hold your attention throughout. It's much lighter than the rest of the CD but you don't get the impression the band recorded it just to have a radio single on their hands.

The CD is very well-produced and, if you think it's well mixed, you can thank Devin Townsend, who handled exactly that for the band.

An interesting and unique album through and through, Contrive's "The Internal Dialogue" is yet another step in the right direction for this Australian band.

Contrive: Paul Haug - vocals/guitars; Tim Sthalmann - bass; Andrew Haug - drums, electronics.

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"The Meaning Unseen" (Shock Music Oz; 2005)

Reviewed by Mike SOS


Australia's Contrive is a metal trio whose left-of-center minimalist approach renders interesting arrangements. 

Songs like the title track, with its Helmet-meets-Quicksand feel, the Stabbing Westward-versus-Prong vibe of "Prepare to Fall," and the burly punk rock riff propelling "Shifting Focus," present the band as a bit on the alternative side of the fence. 

The excellent production from Fredrik Nordstrom (Arch Enemy, Opeth) zeroes in on the band's well-versed dynamic shifts, making "The Meaning Unseen" a solid album that celebrates alt metal expansiveness. 

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.


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Copyright 2011 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 09 Dec 2018 12:03:11 -0500 .