You can compare them to Between The Buried And Me all you want, but the simple fact remains that The Contortionist have something else going on entirely.
Where BTBAM tend to use lead lines as rhythms in their brand of space-prog-metal, The Contortionist build Language around solid rhythm guitar and keyboards. Ex-Last Chance To Reason vocalist Michael Lessard hypnotizes you with his beautifully understated voice, and that hypnosis is only intensified by the instrumentals crafted by his bandmates, who repeat certain motifs throughout the record. All the way from “The Source” through the spaced-out sampling that ends “The Parable,” The Contortionist don’t follow any preconceived notions or rules, absolutely content to “Ebb & Flow” the way the music tells them to. Guitarists Robby Baca and Cameron Maynard craft intricate melodies in “Language I: Intuition” before switching it up and going all tech in its sibling “Language II: Conspire.” “Thrive” brings to mind self-titled era Deftones with its discordant opening before keys and bass lull you into a meditative state, and allow the tension to build until Baca and Maynard return with more melodic discordance that makes the song explode.
All I can say is, “Holy shit, The Contortionist just kicked my best-of-2014 list in the balls.” Language is yet another must own record, and it is by far the most gorgeous one you’ll hear. Don’t sleep on this classic.
Language is out September 16 on eOne Music/Good Fight Music.
Rating: 5/5 Stars