Monday, February 2, 2015

The Contorionist - Intrinsic

With songs that flow from brutal to elegant and entrancing, The Contortionist has created an album so rife with musical decadence it’s daunting.  Taking your traditional math metal and adding a healthy dose of marimba, exotic percussion, clean vocals, and synth creates a dynamic dose of musical excellence. 

The thing that stands out about this album is the fact that you have absolutely no idea where each song will take you.  You could start off with an incredible brutal bass intro with guttural screams and end with marimba’s clinking off with some beautiful clean vocals.  This is all par for the course.  Minor chords give way to streaking riffs that then dissipate into a beautiful major keyed epic of a chorus.  The closest thing I can think of to this band is Between the Buried and Me, but this band is more accessible, and a bit less mathematical.  The Contortionist relies on interesting time signatures and grooves.  They don’t always feel the need to shred.  They can, but they impose a certain flow to each song. 

The beauty of the songs on this cannot be denied.  This is goosebump inducing stuff.   To really get a feel for how these songs move, you almost have to review a song by itself.  For example, the song Casualty (third on the album) shifts from chugging metal to a gorgeous guitar harmony break, into a jazz-influenced solo, before melting away to the sounds of solo synth. 

You just can’t fake musicianship like these guys have.  This isn’t some over-produced album.  This is a group of incredibly talented musicians creating what I would consider a masterpiece of modern music. 

- The Professor

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