[eOne Music/Good Fight]
RIYL: Last Chance to Reason, Cynic, Between the Buried and Me
Progressive metal fans everywhere have been eagerly awaiting the return of Indiana’s own The Contortionist. The band’s debut, Exoplanet, was heralded as quite the success, merging melodic deathcore with progressive and ambient sections. One could excuse the band if they basically went back to the well that scored it success and continued as a progressive deathcore band. Instead, The Contortionist decided to flex its muscles and contort its sound on album number two. Intrinsic finds the band reinventing its own rulebook with a larger focus on atmosphere and melody, which succeeds in making the heavy moments even more crushing. One of the only major complaints about Exoplanet was the band’s over-reliance on sticking to the deathcore template. There were a couple tracks that were excellent up until the needless breakdown kicked in to stall the progressive fun. Well, I am happy to report that Intrinsic finds the band upping the progressive ante significantly. In fact, this album is arguably one of the best progressive releases of the year so far. There is (almost) nary a moment wasted on the album by needless chugging or overbearing prog wizardry, as the band weaves its way into the listener’s consciousness with the dreamy “Holomovement”, only to leave it in dazed with “Parallel Trance”. To get an idea of what to expect on the album, album standout “Causality” is a great example of how the band is able to shift effortlessly between brutality and melody. The only issue of note on the album is an occasional lapse in songwriting, where a song goes on too long or cuts off at an odd point. Those moments are few and far between, and fans of progressive metal are sure to find a whole hell of a lot to love about Intrinsic. – by Nicholas Senior
>> Classification: Ambient Progressive Metalcore
>> Recommended Tracks: “Feedback Loop”, “Causality”, and “Cortical”
>> In Conclusion: The band trades off some of its deathcore brute for a stronger focus on atmosphere and melody, and this pays off significant dividends. Intrinsic is one of the top progressive metal albums of 2012 already.