Wednesday, 27 September 2017

The Contortionist "Clairvoyant" (2017)

Shaking all remnants of their "uber brootal", technical indulgences of past, the Indiana Metal outfit The Contortionist mark their first decade as a band with this new full length that feels like a sophomore release given the dramatic shift in sound that 2014s "Language" brought about. Three years later "Clairvoyant" follows up by shaking the echos of old with barely no screamed vocals and the toning down of distortions to let the musical compositions shine brightly as an aesthetic treat of delicious instruments forming in a union of sound, poised to illuminate expressions and dazzle with melodics.

Being so familiar with its successor, "Clairvoyant" was an instant success, picking up exactly where they left off, it has been an indulging fifty four minutes that continues to deliver even as I listen and write now. After ten or so spins I feel as if I'm just stirring the surface water, the depth of an ocean below unknown. Despite being familiar with the songs, they continue to ooze with aesthetic charm and swells of inspiration as the density of compositions relays the same ideas through all its dimensions of instruments that are gracefully in sync with one another on this rich journey.

The music has a fantastic sense of pace, its progression dynamic and fluent with the contractions its riffs and leads bring about as every twist and return comes with space to breath and reflect. The keyboards play a huge role on this record as the glue that holds the music together, interweaving themselves in the density that lurks behind the guitar led sections and as they break, the keys rise to the fold, moving the atmosphere along between the highs and lows the dense music explores and quite often coming to the forefront with typically Progressive Rock like leads.

Singer Lessard gives a very self indulgent performance, swooning in his own voice he reaches for the subtle, soft and harmonies qualities in his voice and gently pushes them out to the waters. A lyrical dimension is obviously prevalent as the power of some words resonates greatly over top of the instrumentals. Its icing on the cake of a wonderfully atmospheric and indulgent set of songs that take their time to fully experience the magic of their melody without packing it into conventional means. They rather to explore those moments in their illustrious production which is a marvel of sound, getting an utterly sweet and supple aesthetic in a dense environment of energetic instruments that gel together with power and thickness. Its a massive step forward for the group, shedding the now irrelevant screams and metallic guitar moments its predecessor had stitched in. These songs will be fantastic to catch live, which I hope to do so soon!

Rating: 8/10