The Contortionist - Clairvoyant album review

Former tech-metallers set sail for new, atmospheric territories

Cover art for The Contortionist - Clairvoyant album

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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.