Blackened thrash is the perfect storm for powerful riffs; combine the intensity of thrash metal with the cold, inhuman feeling behind black metal and the result is something like a horde of skeletal soldiers charging across a battle field. There’s no heat, no warm breath, and no sweat waiting to make your death claustrophobic and overwhelming. Just imagine the cold claws of the grave flying at you at a ridiculous speed, and you’ve got a solid visualization of what Prezir’s riffs sound like on their new EP Contempt. Throw in some death metal vocals and you’ve got an extreme metal potluck that should offer at least one interesting element to any given listener.
Contempt is fairly consistent with it’s tempo, in the sense that it slows down and speeds up throughout the EP, but generally speaking, it’s the same pace from start to finish (save for “How God Loves,” the intro track). The fluctuation in speed is mild. Fortunately, this is handled practically and the riffs are able provide several dynamic layers to the music that prevent this consistent charge forward from getting stale. Riffing is undoubtedly the strong suit of Prezir, as the guitar carries every track forward while the rest of the band rides along. The bass is almost always audible in the mix, which is a plus regardless of the quality of the bass player, but with Prezir it’s able to work with and contrast against the guitar with it’s own little variations on the main riffs. The impact that the bass has is subtle but realistically it makes the EP a lot stronger. I wish that I had more to say about the drumming, but I’m struggling to find anything beyond the fact that it gets the job done. There’s nothing wrong with the percussion, it simply doesn’t stand out much.
My biggest complaint is the song structure, and more specifically, the direction of the music. Everything sounds good when it’s in full swing, but the tracks don’t really lead anywhere except for the end of the song. There are solos thrown in, there are constant riff changes as well, but it feels as if the band is just pummeling forward until the song ends. Now, if this is the case, they are pummeling forward with extreme competence and it sounds wonderful, but there’s no particular point where I would say there’s a payoff except for the absolute end of Contempt. That, however, should be a given with the end of the entire release. The song structure is bland while the music (especially the riffs) is exciting and makes me expect something big to happen. I feel that there is a potential here that Prezir has yet to fully capture and control.
Despite being a little unrefined in the grand scheme of itself, Contempt is still an energetic and potent release with a lot going on between the layers. The intro sets the listener up to be upset, and the fury is then hand delivered to them in the following five tracks. It’s a melodic, powerful testament to the things that can be achieved when multiple subgenres meet, and the run time of the EP suits the energy perfectly.
Contempt is now available via Prezir’s Bandcamp page.