After pretty much leaving their technical deathcore roots behind with 2017’s ‘Clairvoyant’, The Contortionist had traversed from heavy riffs and guttural vocals to swirling soundscapes and melodic atmospherics, but also puzzled an element of their fanbase in the process.
Their sonic evolution continues on their ‘Our Bones’ EP. Those wishing for the heavier days will be disappointed with what’s on show here, but anyone who has had a passing likening to the ‘Language’ and ‘Clairvoyant’ records will have lots to digest.
Opener, ‘Follow’, ushers in a gentle and melodic introduction before the chorus hammers home with an incredibly emotive tone. In amongst this, stepping through several tiers of melodic pitch, vocalist Michael Lessard delivers an eerily similar vocal performance to one Maynard James Keenan (Tool/A Perfect Circle) with incredible levels of catchiness.
Following number, ‘Early Grave’, continues this pattern with little to no hints of aggression underpinning what is essentially a prog rock track. That’s not to say that the quality isn’t super high, it’s just vastly different to those previously discussed origins. The main guitar riff that courses through lends a decent head-banging groove that peppers the background, whilst the song concludes with another riff that breaks everything down into a much harsher-sounding passage to add that little bit of extra bite.
In these two songs, there are hints of harsher vocals and technical breakdowns that appear in passages, but with the ascent to more progressive climes being still very much on the band’s radar.
‘All Grey’ is a delicate piano-led instrumental ballad that’s almost inconspicuous by its length, and final track, ‘1979’ – a cover of the seminal The Smashing Pumpkins hit – doesn’t do much in the way of making it their own, and results in a pleasant song that follows the Pumpkins style without the interesting aspect of Billy Corgan‘s voice over the top of it.
So, in summary, two extremely strong songs on the first half of the ‘Our Bones’ EP, which hopefully hint as to the direction this band are heading their next studio record, as opposed to the lacklustre second half of the EP.
After getting into alternative music during the mid 90s with the rise of nu-metal and pop-punk, I’ve gradually spread my interests far and wide and have a real love for metalcore, prog metal and tech metal. Amongst other things, I am a husband, father of two amazing kids, heavy metal DJ, and video game/book/nerd enthusiast!