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Review: Various Artists - Contaminated 5.0
Various Artists
Contaminated 5.0

Label: Relapse Records
Year released: 2003
Duration: 142:11
Tracks: 45
Genre: Unclassifiable

Review online: February 15, 2003
Reviewed by: Scott Murray
Readers Rating
Contaminated 5.0

Rated 0/5 (0%) (0 Votes)

It appears as though Relapse has decided to rub it’s highly successful 2002 year in metal into the faces of the competition by releasing a monster compilation covering the best plus the least known acts on the label’s monstrously impressive roster. The obvious picks are here: Nile, Mastodon, Origin, Today is the Day, Cephalic Carnage and the rest. I’m quite surprised that Nile wasn’t the band to kick off the first disc of this collection considering they are Relapse’s brightest shining star at the moment.

The format of this album is pretty simple when viewing the tracklisting. The first CD is the variety pack, with everything under the sun, starting with Alabama Thunderpussy offering a heavy southern rock track called Motor-Ready. From there you’ll hear a little bit of everything from The Dillinger Escape Plan to Pig Destroyer and Daylight Dies. There are a couple of bands on here that totally took me off guard, especially Warm Hands, Cold Heart by 27. It is a jazzy, female-fronted number that you could imagine listening to in a smoky club where the lone starlet sings her heart out perched on top of the piano. Not the kind of sound you’d expect from Relapse but it’s nice to see some diversity in the lineup. I also enjoyed Amber Asylum’s Silence of the Setting Sun, a gothic band that reminded me of Tristania in the female vocal department and use of Celtic instrumentals.

The second disc is just 27 tracks of non-stop brutal death and grind. Suffocation, Skinless, Soilent Green, Agoraphobic Nosebleed are just some of the hard-hitting bands comprising Contaminated 5.0’s second disc. A band that I’ve been meaning to check out, Red Harvest has a track on here that totally has me hooked. Industrial black metal might be a good way to put the sound of the band, but they definitely rule and that’s what matters. It’s also nice to see Toronto’s The End on here with a track from their Transfer Trachea From Point: False Omniscient album.

I’m usually not one to pick up compilation albums, but Relapse’s latest was too good to pass up at such a cheap price and more than generous number of tracks.

Now let’s see if they can hang onto their title as most brutal label of the year for 2003.

Additional Information

- Full tracklisting available on the Relapse Records web site at

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