THE CONTORTIONIST

Metal Hammer (UK) - - Albums - SO­PHIE MAUGHAN

Clair­voy­ant

LONGBRANCH/SPV For­mer tech-met­allers set sail for new, at­mo­spheric ter­ri­to­ries

These US prog ad­ven­tur­ers be­gan stray­ing ever fur­ther from their tech-metal lin­eage with the re­lease of 2014’s Lan­guage, but the sex­tet have never shied from favour­ing cre­ativ­ity over ex­pec­ta­tion. Ef­fort­less grace and sonic guts col­lide over the course of this nine-track jour­ney, as brood­ing at­mo­spher­ics give way to jar­ring time sig­na­tures un­der­pinned by sub­tle syn­co­pa­tion. Tak­ing cues from A Perfect Cir­cle and the tex­tured melod­i­cism of Sigur Rós, the re­sult is an ir­re­sistible record with six in­di­vid­u­als dis­play­ing all their mu­si­cal chops. The rich yet sim­plis­tic beauty of Reimag­ined com­ple­ments the riff-cen­tred in­tri­ca­cies of the ti­tle track, while the ex­pan­sive Re­lapse is bol­stered by Michael Les­sard’s hyp­notic, ethe­real vo­cals. No need for crys­tal balls here; this kind of fear­less artis­tic en­deav­our speaks for it­self – as well as the fu­ture of the band. FOR FANS OF: A PERFECT CIR­CLE, PE­RIPH­ERY, TESSERACT

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