Victims Of Contagion – Parasitic Unborn

Rating: 4/5
Distributor/Label: Independent
Released: 27/09/14
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 Victims Of ContagionBand Line-up:

Chuck Forsythe – Guitar
Mike Rush – Drums & Vocals,
Jon Haden – Guitar,
Bob Meister – Vocals.

Track Listing:

1. Neurohoarder
2. Terminal Evolution
3. A Miscalculation
4. The Parasitic Unborn
5. Subservience


One of the joys of listening to a debut EP or album from a band is being able to get excited for their future and speculating where they will take their sound. From the earlier strains heard on first listen, you’ll begin wondering what’s in store for future years down the line. It’s a simple joy as a music lover, and something that can be felt on listening to “Parasitic Unborn” from Pittsburgh’s death metal upstarts, VICTIMS OF CONTAGION.

It’s technical death metal with elements of progressive metal thrown in for good measure. Sound like your thing? It’s technically proficient, with sweeping licks and off-time, polyrhythmic riffs woven together with intricate drumming and a rumbling bass, whilst things are changed up with the inclusion of neo-jazz interludes through parts of “Terminal Evolution” and “The Parasitic Unborn”. It’s this weaving of softer technicality with harder technicality which makes this such an interesting listen. Anyone who has listened to DEATH and their myriad of spawn will instantly feel right at home, and that’s without mentioning the guest guitarist that features in the EP’s climax: DEATH’s own Bobby Koelble on guitars. If the inclusion of one of the guitarists from the genre’s most celebrated band (who featured on “Symbolic”) on your independent EP release doesn’t come across as a ringing endorsement, then goodness knows what does.

The sound and production is slick, but still contains a little rawness whilst the songwriting can come across a little unhinged (especially when switching from death metal, to jazz, and back again), but it’s an almost-youthful charm – “Parasitic Unborn” is an exciting release and it is clear that the band consider it so as well, with every song containing an adrenaline-fuelled vigour.

The precedent set here ensures that the future looks bright and rosy for VICTIMS OF CONTAGION. More of the same on a full-length release and we’ll be looking at a cracking record to behold. In the meantime, “Parasitic Unborn” shall serve as a perfect appetiser for that future release. It’s intricate, technical and just a bloody good listen. Get it.

Review by Lee Carter