The Contortionist
Intrinsic


4.0
excellent

Review

by G.M.B. USER (18 Reviews)
July 17th, 2012 | 266 replies


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The Contortionist craft an enticing heap of progressive goodness juxtaposed with brilliantly crushing heaviness.

The Contortionist created quite a buzz when they released their debut full length Exoplanet a couple years ago. It had all the slightly bothersome elements of the beloved genre of deathcore, but there were flourishes of absolute brilliance thrown in. "Flourish" and "Oscillator" were perhaps the most outstanding tracks, showcasing the group's ability to juxtapose ambient passages and astounding buildups with the crushing downtuned heaviness that is a trademark of the deathcore genre. Exoplanet showed a young group that had enormous amounts of potential to become much more than just another core band.

They solidify this on their sophomore effort Intrinsic. All the core elements that held Exoplanet back are toned down greatly here, and are used for crushing effect rather than a crutch to lean on. Instead of being the primary presence in their music, the core elements take second place to ambient and spacey passages. Lead single "Holomovement" emphasized the atmospheric moments and only contains about 20 seconds of the chugging deathcore moments that were so prevalent on their debut. Album closer "Parallel Trance" further utilizes the spacey feel by being entirely void of heaviness and instead containing just atmosphere.

But Intrinsic isn't all just spacey atmosphere. "Solipsis" is perhaps the most Exoplanet-like track presented here, as it launches into a furious combo of chugs and breakdowns after an ambient opening. The first half of "Causality" is very similar to the aforementioned track, only more fleshed out with the ambient sections dominating the end of the song instead. The main difference between Intrinsic and the debut is that the heavy moments are more tastefully done, and don't overstay their welcome. The album doesn't fall into chugging monotony like Exoplanet does as the album progresses.

However, there is one issue holding this album back: Coherency. Yes, the atmospheres are entrancing, the slabs of brutality are intense, but the album just doesn't flow as well as it could. Sometimes, the ideas shown here just feel like they were sort of thrown together without much consideration for the flow of the record. For example, a few of the transitions from ambient passage to heavy passage feel awkward and sudden. It seems like a bit of a hypocritical judgement coming from an avid fan of Between the Buried and Me, but their music is supposed to be spastic like that, and it works for them. But for the Contortionist, they would be better served to focus on a coherent, well-flowing album.

When all is said and done, The Contortionist have shown that they can break free of the deathcore stereotypes and create an enticing slab of progressive goodness. While the album still has its flaws, it proves that this relatively young group is capable of doing great things. After such a drastic shift in styles from debut to sophomore effort, one can only wonder what they have in store for us next.



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user ratings (652)
Chart.
3.4
great
other reviews of this album
1 of
  • zyglrob (4.5)
    A fully-fledged, flowing, and astute record which proves that ‘Exoplanet’ was no fluke...

    peartnoy (4)
    Contorting itself maybe just a tad too much....

    Jacob Royal STAFF (3)
    Progressive backpedaling, dressed up in a convincing package....

    Funeral (2)
    Why is there a breakdown here? because it's here, roll the bones....

  • Alexandre Hamel (4.5)
    Overall, “Intrinsic” is a great sophomore album, combining elements of deathcore, ambi...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Ssssssss
July 17th 2012


683 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yeh i was skeptic about this, but i really am starting to love this. Also I agree with the last sentence, am really curious what they will do next.

YoYoMancuso
July 17th 2012


11223 Comments


nice review!

ILJ
July 17th 2012


6741 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

I'm honestly shocked I'm the first person to review this.

I hope Eli reviews this too, I loved his fantastically brutal soundoff about it.

Digging: FKA Twigs - LP1

KILL
July 17th 2012


72280 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

no

Digging: Throwing Muses - Throwing Muses

Tyrael
July 17th 2012


20971 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

well fuck

good review

Evreaia
July 17th 2012


4060 Comments


Oh c'mon KILL this has cynic written all over it, you should at least think of this as a 1.5 or a 2.0.

KILL
July 17th 2012


72280 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

damn you are right this is the true focus 2

CruelBloom
July 17th 2012


26 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

It's an okay album. I'll give it some more spins.

KjSwantko
July 17th 2012


9448 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Nice review. Pos.

Album is good but I feel like these guys just try too hard. Case in point- those song titles; "Sequential Vision, Geocentric Confusion, Dreaming Schematics" wtf.

Evreaia
July 17th 2012


4060 Comments


Of course kill

Devastator
July 17th 2012


2513 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Album slays, what is the concept behind this one?

SmokingTheClouds
July 17th 2012


639 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

God, "Holomovement" is a great track. Spectacular album imo.

ILJ
July 17th 2012


6741 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

They are a little pretentious (I had the same reaction when I read the song titles) but I think most prog groups are to an extent.

YoYoMancuso
July 17th 2012


11223 Comments


thinking about getting this but there appear to be a lot of mixed opinions

ILJ
July 17th 2012


6741 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

You should definitely give it a spin. It still has deathcore elements so naturally a lot of people are going to auto-hate it.

BirthRite
July 17th 2012


1318 Comments


lol kills opinion/rating having any credibility

BirthRite
July 17th 2012


1318 Comments


also do we have any official streams for this or is it all pretty much on youtube already?

saucy
July 17th 2012


342 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

How can something be labeled pretentious? I'm actually genuinely curious.

BirthRite
July 17th 2012


1318 Comments


oh here's one

www.youtube.com/watch?v=531KRNjPKHk


ILJ
July 17th 2012


6741 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

There's a full stream up. You can find it on the blog for this week.






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