The Contortionist
Apparition


5.0
classic

Review

by Ian W. USER (20 Reviews)
August 8th, 2010 | 18 replies | 5,472 views


Release Date: 2009 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The Contortionist are doing something right, something that goes beyond just being a stellar metal album, it ends up being a great record overall.

2 of 3 thought this review was well written

All great art has a purpose. That purpose doesn’t necessarily have to be a major message or theme; it can be something simpler such as an emotion or story. That’s why whenever the tired question comes up, “Art really has no definition, so why if I just draw a bunch of scribbles can it not be considered art?” the answer becomes obvious. That scribble holds no value or purpose, thereby making it worthless. In the case of Indianapolis band The Contortionist; their sophomore album portrays the story of an apparition as it goes through a cycle of possession, conversion, and self realization, all the while providing an amazing soundtrack to such a story.

Opening up with the track “Infection,” the apparition takes hold of its next victim, which at first provides a euphoric feeling before erupting into a violent frenzy. The Contortionist displays this by beginning with a soft piano introduction before breaking into a full speed guitar/drum assault. While inevitably being the weakest track on the album, this introduction does a stellar job of leading the listener into the next track “Realms.” The song’s progressive leaning introduction and subsequent ambient section helps imbue the listener with an image that the apparition is taking its host to a separate world where it came from. This world isn’t necessarily always beautiful, as it can schizophrenically switch from peaceful serenity to hostile aggression while sometimes blending both these feelings.

See what The Contortionist do that makes their otherwise lackluster breakdowns interesting is mixing it with either melodic or ambient passages to spice it up. And in the instances where the band employs a standard breakdown, they use it as a kind of bridge to lead up into grandiose melodic passages or some form of atmospheric section. “Eyes: Closed” provides a perfect example of this. Up until 2:25 of the song, it’s a cavalcade of aggression and breakdowns before completely transitioning into the album’s best instance of ambience. And just like the breakdowns, The Contortionist uses these ambient passages as another type of bridge to lead into more aggressive sections. And while the vocalist may use the standard low to mid range scream, his high scream in this section of “Eyes: Closed” really does add to the music, as it gives the song a sensation of desperation.

“Oscillator” marks a transition in the album’s sound as it becomes the last song to contain just straight up anger in its sound. Just like an oscillator, the song switches halfway through to an almost uplifting section as the host desperately decides whether to accept the change or fight it. The opening lyrics of the song provide an almost poetic example of this:

This is passion personified into a rage
that is ripping and tearing at my body and soul,
thus leaving me weak.

Once it ends, the instrumental track “Apparition” plays, which finally shows the host has accepted the change and is now an apparition, and experiences numerous emotions while doing it. The tracks use of multiple out-of-genre instruments such as xylophones and synthesizers creates a unique and dynamic sound, and almost ends up being the best track on the album.

However, that spot is taken by the album’s closer “Predator.” As the title suggests, the new apparition now sets off to find its next victim, which lends to the song a wave of emotions from hostility in the apparition’s hunt, to calmer sections reflecting doubt of why they are doing this, back to anger and so on. Musically the song flips between average deathcore chug fests, to melodic riffs, to Djent style sections, to ambient sections akin to “Apparition.”

To say this is one of the best deathcore albums out there is an understatement. The members of The Contortionist are doing something right, something that transcends just being a stellar metal album; it ends up becoming just a great record overall. I can’t guarantee that people who dislike deathcore will find this album to be as spectacular as I’ve described, but for anyone who likes deathcore and/or death metal, I highly recommend this album.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zNzbGUt1jyg Link to the band’s instrumental track “Apparition.”



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Nikkolae (4)
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Comments:Add a Comment 
krig9412
August 8th 2010



792 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I know not everyone will agree with the rating, but I just sat down on my bed one day, put this album on, and something just clicked. I found the album to have been beautifully crafted and filled with emotion, and for that I deem it a classic. Not in the sense that it will influence records to come, just that it's perfectly put together.


Thor
August 8th 2010



10176 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

One of the best deathcore releases in the past few years, but nothing classic. Eyes Closed is so good though.

dansxdead
August 8th 2010



438 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Such a good release. Good review as well pos'd.

AbyssalCreation
August 8th 2010



2041 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Great review, amazing EP.

I've heard their full-length and trust me it is even better than this.

krig9412
August 8th 2010



792 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Did you mean to post this in the Shapeshifter review? Because this IS their full length

AbyssalCreation
August 8th 2010



2041 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

no it's not it's a 7 song EP, and no I'm talking about their Full-Length Exoplanet.I partied with the band after one of their shows, and got to hear it.It features some of the songs on this EP completely re-done.

Yeahtoast
August 8th 2010



2041 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

About to check this out.

Yeahtoast
August 8th 2010



2041 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Hmmm. It might grow on me, Predator is a great song.

Nikkolae
August 8th 2010



4766 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

pretty great review dude, album is amazing

Digging: We Came Out Like Tigers - Ever-Crushed at Pecket's Well

AbyssalCreation
August 9th 2010



2041 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Has anyone heard the new song yet? shit is so cash.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_1DvrH4wx08

krig9412
August 9th 2010



792 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Really? I thought this actually was the band's full length, considering it's long enough. And yeah I have heard the new song, I'm figuring it's a grower, cause it feels a little more extreme than their other songs.

And thank you Nikkolae

AbyssalCreation
August 9th 2010



2041 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Nope I thought it was a full-length too, but when I saw 'em they were like we don't have any cds but you can have a copy of our EP and gave me and my friends all a copy of Apparition.

krig9412
August 9th 2010



792 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Kick ass man, are they good live?

AbyssalCreation
August 9th 2010



2041 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah, but I was confused though, cause they don't play anything off Apparition live.Yet the played the re done Eyes:Closed and I was like wait what? Where did the singing come from and why have the lyrics changed.

They were sick though, definitely the best band on the bill.If you get the chance party with them, they're all awesome dudes.

krig9412
August 9th 2010



792 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Who else were they with? And are they on tour?

AbyssalCreation
August 10th 2010



2041 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Tour was pretty much garbage it was them I Declare War,Legend, and For the Fallen Dreams.

They just got off the tour, I believe.

Nikkolae
August 23rd 2010



4766 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

that line up sounds like utter shit, specialy i declare war, and shapeshifters and this are both EP's btw

BringMeABrick
February 19th 2011



340 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Eyes Closed is fucking incredible.



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