Review: The Contortionist, 'Intrinsic’ 

****
click to enlarge 1342374421-intrinsic_album_cover.jpg

The Contortionist
Intrinsic
eOne Music/Good Fight Music

If Exoplanet, the debut by Indianapolis-based The Contortionist, was a gallant effort at prog-metal worship, the follow-up, Intrinsic, is even bigger and better.

Most of its 10 tracks are epic in nature, as assaultive as they are atmospheric. The guitar runs by Robby Baca and Cameron Maynard are more nimble and nuanced, the rhythm section of bassist Christopher Tilley and Baca’s twin brother Joey on drums equal parts blasting and martial, and singer Jonathan Carpenter offers both demonic growls and ethereal reveries.

Nearly every song on Intrinsic has all the aforementioned qualities included. It’s that distinction in progressive music that typically turns off listeners who may otherwise give it consideration. And indeed some of Carpenter’s keyboard accoutrements venture too far into ELP territory. But, on Intrinsic, The Contortionist have overcome the monumental hurdle of coalescing a bevy of influences into something streamlined and grandiose. That extends to the lyrical content, exploring themes of consciousness and the metaphysical.

Highlights include the eye-crossing time changes of “Causality,” which aside from gnarly guitar textures also delves into blues territory. “Geocentric Confusion” takes the offensive to dizzying new heights with an intensity, despite a prolonged keyboard interlude, that never wanes. “Cortical” is an effectively creepy, tormenting composition with disquieting piano strikes amidst some of the album’s best loud/soft and slow/fast dynamics.

“Parallel Trance” closes the proceedings with Eno soundscapes and detached voices — a heady, dystopian end to a near-fathomless exercise. Considering some of The Contortionist’s members are barely of legal drinking age, it’s safe to assume they’ve only begun their progression.

Latest in Album Reviews

  • 100 Best Hoosier albums ever
  • 100 Best Hoosier albums ever

    From Hoagy Carmichael's 1927 version of "Star Dust" to Sirius Blvck's 2014 release 'Year of the Snvke,' we compiled a list that is historically and creatively representative of the best music that Indiana has to offer your ears, a snapshot of our state's musical identity.
    • Apr 12, 2014
  • Review: The Dwellers, 'Less Is More'
  • Review: The Dwellers, 'Less Is More'

    Less Is More is an oft-lovely, complex journey of fractured ideas that plays out with an erratic temperament of earned warmth and calculated chilliness befitting of this harsh Hoosier winter with spring on the horizon.
    • Mar 19, 2014
  • Review: Veseria, 'Voyager'
  • Review: Veseria, 'Voyager'

    Indianapolis five-piece rockers Veseria unleash high-wire drama throughout their genre-jumping sophomore album, Voyager, an effort that deserves to be noticed.
    • Mar 5, 2014
  • More »

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Feedback

Recent Comments


Reader Reviews

  • Joyful Noise
    Place is the bomb.com. They are cool people and hook you up…
  • Om India Plaza
    I didn't realize they provided online ordering. I'm curious what exactly one would order from…
  • Om India Plaza
    ABSOLUTE WORST PLACE TO ORDER ONLINE.
    My experience with this place was a total…

More by Wade Coggeshall

© 2014 NUVO | Website powered by Foundation