Who You’re Not Listening To: Contra.

14484836_607667246102610_3141629699061035575_nContra. is an ambient metalcore band from Chicago, Illinois- est. 2013.

I just had the pleasure of playing with these guys in Olean on Sunday night. To be honest, I did zero homework on them going into the show, but maybe that was a good thing. Right before they went on, the description I got was, “ambient metalcore”. The ambient part got me curious, so I tuned right in. I’m glad I did too, because the first tune they played was loaded with “HOLY FUCK” moments.

Many fans of metalcore are quick to assume that they’ve heard it all before, the same as someone who isn’t into the genre. It also depends on what era you’re talking about when you use the term. The first generation of metalcore fans will tell you that if it doesn’t sound like Earth Crisis, it’s not metalcore. Subsequently, second generation fans will say the same thing if the band doesn’t sound like As I Lay Dying, and so forth. It’s all natural, but I have to tell you, these guys sound fucking fresh.

Personally, I think Contra. (respect the dot) play a style similar to the first couple Periphery albums, just without as much djent style muting in the guitar. So, if you enjoyed Periphery II: This Time It’s Personal, and you think Periphery’s newer albums are a little too watered down, I think you’ll like Contra. A LOT.. They have a self-titled EP out that carries equal amounts of everything in the band’s description. You’ve got your breakdowns, darker tremolo picked stuff, melodic keyboard sections, both clean and harsh vocals, both heavy distorted sections and serenading clean riffs, as well as a very nice blend of (you guessed it) ambience with everything else they’re doing.


Definitely give them a listen if the musical tastes listed above apply to you. Plus, these guys seem to always be planning their next tour, so if you can help them in that endeavor, please do so!

Contra. are:

Kevin – Vocals,
Jaime – Guitar,
Ulysses – Guitar,
Brent – Drums/Programing,
Sasha – Vocals/Piano



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