Review Summary: Deathcore, done well. Om nom nom nom.
Sometimes it's hard being both a musician and a listener. To turn off your musical brain and enjoy something doesn't always come easy. You're often dissecting and analysing songs to their microscopic elements, to their fundamental concepts, and it takes away from the experience. This is compounded in technical musical styles; jazz, technical-metal et al. With current trends in heavy music being firmly focused on playing at whirlwind speed and with the utmost complexity this doesn't help. The Contortionist however, make it easy for you to get lost in the experience, maturely pursuing songwriting, in lieu of the aforementioned trends.
Combining elements of deathcore, progressive-death, experimental production, and dare I use the cliche, strong use of melody
, The Contortionist is a heady mix of abrasiveness and technical metal, which is executed with precision. Stylistically standing out from it's peers with the added mix of electronica and both synth and guitar-based ambience, the dynamics of Exoplanet interestingly allow the band to eschew the sea of deathcore/progressive bands. The second track of the album, Flourish, is an obvious highlight, particularly the tasteful additive of quietly mixed piano. A second example of this dynamic play being the dichotic use of vocals in Contract.
Exoplanet defines a genre coming of age. Dynamics, and song-writing overtaking aesthetics of violence and brutality dogging the genre, allow the band to stand head and shoulders over its peers, and with breathing space for creativity.