Kontusion – Kontusion Review

Boy, I sure am a big ol’ dummy.

(How’s that for a lede, eh? “I sure am stupid. Now be sure to read on and totally trust my expert opinion!” But seriously, do that…)

Why am I a big ol’ dummy, you ask, with rapt curiosity? Because two different people told me to listen to this Kontusion EP over a month ago, and I failed to do so in a timely manner. Stupid stupidity making me do other things when I could’ve been listening to kick-ass death metal…

Release date: March 25, 2022. Label: Self-released
But anyway, to the matter at hand, which is not really my dummyheadedness: Kontusion is a new two-piece scuzztoned death metal outfit featuring drummer Chris Moore (Repulsion, Coke Bust, ex-Magrudergrind) and guitarist/bassist/vocalist Mark Bronzino (Iron Reagan, ex-Mammoth Grinder), so it’s … kind of right up my alley. It was begun when the two toured together years back, and then resuscitated after a period of dormancy, and to further that metaphor, it feels more than a bit like a beast conjured up from the grave, returning to wreak havoc from the days when Xeroxed-cover cassettes roamed the land.

Kontusion’s particular style of old-school death covers a few bases: On the one hand, the rough-hewn tones and production lend it that raw, dank, dark, rotten sound, adding to the feel that it’s been buried under layers of mud and decay for decades. On another hand, that description is a bit deceptive, because atmospheric though it may sound, it’s also bulldozer burly, swinging weight around like some grave-exiting monster that’s not only hungry, but also supremely pissed off. And on a third hand (what? it’s a monster – it can have three hands), it’s even got a flirting moment of eerie horror-film synthesizers amidst the shredding solo and lumbering heft of the subtly-titled “Rotting With Sickness.”

Check out those furnace-bellow growls over that stuttering machine-gun riffage in the middle of “Unrelenting Pain,” the way Bronzino’s tremolo guitars carve out space atop Moore’s jackhammer kick-drums. The way that breakdown drops into a feedback-laden trudge, then that repetitive stutter, then the whole thing kicks back in… That’s some damned killer death metal, kids, and it’s only just begun. Plenty more to come in these sixteen minutes, in the bone-snapping heaviness of “Blood Church” or the skull-crunching crush of “Charred Remains,” where those keys make a subtle reappearance to add some flair to a swaggering breakdown. Autopsy-esque filth delivered atop Swedish-style d-beatdown death with hints of the macabre — what’s not to love?

Kontusion’s a certified bruiser. You’d have to be a big ol’ dummy not to hear it.


Posted by Andrew Edmunds

Last Rites Co-Owner; Senior Editor; born in the cemetery, under the sign of the MOOOOOOON...

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