Criminal Element – Criminally Contaminated  (2006)

This is Relapse’s 2006 pressing of Criminal Element’s short EP on single-sided 7″ wax. Besides the usual 100 Relapse clear copies, 400 exist on blue and 500 on green.

It’s surprising how bands like this fall under the radar. You’d think that a “supergroup” style band with members from Dying Fetus, Suffocation and Misery Index would be big news, but this, along with all other Criminal Element releases, just seems to fall into obscurity not long after release. Even on Discogs, the number of people “wanting” their records is very low indeed.

Anyways, on with the music! Criminally Contaminated is really short, being a one sided 7″ record and containing three grinding death metal numbers that clock in at a total of about 5 minutes in length. The drumming is probably the most impressive thing on this record. It is well made and the production is excellent, but whilst I can appreciate the musical skill and production technique that has gone into a record such as this, I can’t help but find it flaccid and boring. The whole macho-man death metal thing really doesn’t do it for me. Saying that, there are a lot worse 7″s out there, although I guess this is only half a record, so does that even count?

On Relapse’s count I think that half a fucking 7″ is a really cheap move. Why not write more songs or even just split with another boring death metal band and double the exposure? A perplexing one this, it stays in my collection for its musical merit, but if I’m honest with myself, if I hadn’t randomly bought this years ago off the Relapse store for literally next to nothing I probably would have gone my entire life without hearing this band and not really knowing or caring a single shit.