The Contortionist Megathread

Discussion in 'General Music Discussion' started by MetalJordan, Nov 2, 2008.

  1. TheDandy

    TheDandy SS.org Regular

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    Return to Earth is absolutely my favourite single so far. Totally agree with the comment on unsettling harmonies, totally makes the mood of the song
     
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  2. TheDandy

    TheDandy SS.org Regular

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    Return to Earth is absolutely my favourite single so far. Totally agree with the comment on unsettling harmonies, totally makes the mood of the song
     
  3. bhakan

    bhakan SS.org Regular

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    I feel like I've made this comment a lot so people are probably sick of me saying it :lol:. I'm not saying music needs to be heavy to be good, and I'm guessing most of the other people wanting bands to get heavier again aren't either. It's just that The Contortionist is an absolutely top tier prog metal band, but a really mediocre (IMO obviously) alt rock/prog rock band. Despite being more "poppy," I find The Contortionists new music to be significantly less memorable and catchy than it was when it was heavy.

    I feel like everything The Contortionist does in these new songs has been done better before by bands like Mew, HRVRD, etc. except every now and then they throw in a rather mediocre chug riff. If you're into this sound I highly recommend checking out the bands I mentioned. It's not exactly the same by any means, the bands I mentioned don't have any metal at all in them, but I think they do the whole spaced out alt rock type thing really well.
     
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  4. cip 123

    cip 123 SS.org Regular

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    I played Language 1 for my degree and it's an easy enough song but playing it in a band gave me a total appreciation for how simple they made such complexity. Trying to play it in a band was terrifying. Part of what I like about Contortionist is how they make everything sound so simple. I know that from studying their songs for my degree, Language 1 intuition sounds simple, but to go through and play it with a real band shows you just how tight you need to be. I listen to these new songs and I hear the simplicity but also the prog of top tier musicians. You might not call it top tier prog if you want but what they seem to be doing with this album so far is to me absolutely breathtaking. Call me a fan boy, I'm just a music fan and I'm obsessed with Return to Earth. That ending is honestly chilling it's almost jarring how restrained the vocals seem over the chugs and thats exactly what I love about it. If it's not memorable to you fair enough but it has me hitting repeat over and over.

    Thank you for the suggestion but in all honesty I probably won't check out those bands for a while, I like the way the contortionist mesh their styles and thats what I go to them for.

    I listen to the Language album and I think it's pretty perfect it's in my top 5 ever, Michael seems to like connecting things, Return to Earth's video is connected to Reimagined, and both videos have the language symbol in the background. I'm excited for the new album because language is one of my favourites, regardless of it's influences and what people may think other bands do better, and this will be in my eyes some form of continuation.

    I don't want to compare bands, this is the contortionists music. I don't listen to them and go "I wish these guys were Mew". Whatever ambient alt-rock sections they put out are theirs and I appreciate them for that. If I compared every bit of music to something better I'd probably never listen to music because whats the point then.

    It's like Mastodon, every record people hate and compare, I just wanna sit there, listen and appreciate what they made regardless of what genres they're playing, who's singing etc. It doesn't disregard them as great musicians making what they want to make. The same way a more poppy radio friendly contortionist doesn't equal less complexity, less prog, or less musicianship.
     
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  5. bhakan

    bhakan SS.org Regular

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    I totally understand where you're coming from, but I feel like you're missing my point, which I probably didn't articulate well enough. My point isn't that they're less complex or worse musicians now at all. I'm the last person to say less-metal music is simpler or lesser. I'm just willing to bet that a lot of Contortionist fans are more open minded than given credit for and they're not asking for more screams because "poppy radio friendly contortionist equals less complexity, less prog, or less musicianship," but because to a lot of us, The Contortionist are just not very good at being poppy and radio friendly.

    Really though me shitting on The Contortionist accomplishes nothing. The better take away is if you like the sound The Contortionist is straying towards now, I highly recommend spending some time digging through the indie world, there's a lot of really amazing music that shares a lot in common with this stuff.
     
  6. Ikke

    Ikke A Dream Cartographer

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    Return to Earth is my favorite single so far. The way Mike uses his voice as a texture is just so awesome to me. I've had this song on repeat all day.

    Can't wait to hear the rest of the album. I'm loving this new direction.
     
  7. squids

    squids .

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    Ok its cool that you guys can get these "vibes" from these songs, but i seriously dont get it. there doesnt need to be screams, honestly i very much dislike michaels scream, but the songs are missing what i felt made the contortionist, the contortionist. the new stuff has no depth to me, it all sounds shallow, and "sorta proggy" but just every once in a while when they throw a weird chord in the mix. theres no emotional build up and intensity like language and intrinsic had. it just sounds like radio rock, and thats fine if youre into that but this is the contortionist, who to me had this intricate yet flowing sound, it was highly calculated but organic at the same time. I'll admit that i kind of like Absolve, but i just find clairvoyant boring. i really hope the other songs are better, and yeah you can say that playing language I was tough as a band but this stuff is far from language.
    again, its not BAD, but i would have expected a lot more from the contortionist. im all for a band heading in a new direction musically, but they are just not good at it.
     
  8. bmth4111

    bmth4111 SS.org Regular

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    What tuning are they using for the new album?

    I also feel that the releases have been somewhat lack luster. Cool music videos though. Although I knew that they would head towards a lighter prog rock/metal (their albums all show this transition) I still am disappointed. I loved language and every album they have made so far though.
     
  9. cip 123

    cip 123 SS.org Regular

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    They're using 6's and 7's I think they're old 7 tuning was Drop Ab.


    I think we're just disagreeing then, cause I think the songs, especially Return to earth sound far from shallow. Sorry to repeat myself but if that heavier bit with the unsettling clean harmonies sounds very intense to me, far from shallow.

    I understand the 'Flow' you talk about, in Reimagined the sudden choruses were really weird but grew on me. And I appreciate the new direction no build up, just a couple lines and heres the chorus, this is what we're about. Very subdued verses in to sudden choruses, it's a stray from Language but if you think about it, it's totally contortionist just a different side, it sounds like them, it sounds like language but in a new direction instead of the gorgeous flowing passages everything just hitting you. BUT nothing's ever out of place as you expect with Contortionist. I'd say listen to Reimagined again but with a different headspace, if you still don't think it's cool then we're just gonna disagree.


    Gotta disagree again. If you look at Reimagined it's 3 minutes long. It's a perfect album teaser and it's a good pop song. If I heard that on the radio after never hearing them I'd be like "Sh*t who are these guys" It's 3 minutes long and it just hits you with almost every single aspect of the contortionist in a short space. I'd be begging for more and I was.

    I'm just straight disagreeing with you that they're not good at poppy radio friendly songs (Which is fine). If Reimagined came on, again I would lose my Sh*t, and I'd beg the DJ to play more.
     
  10. bhakan

    bhakan SS.org Regular

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    Obviously there's no accounting for taste. I'm not trying to tell you that you should agree with me. I'm glad you enjoy the music and you absolutely shouldn't think any differently on account of anyone else. I'm just saying that the people who dislike the new direction are maybe not close minded, but just don't think they did a good with this new sound.
     
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  11. cip 123

    cip 123 SS.org Regular

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    The only people I would call close minded are the stereotypical chug commenters. Everyone here in this thread is pretty civil and open to comments which is what I love about talking here.

    As a matter of taste however I personally don't see how people can't follow the new direction when they like language. It feels like a progression, and to me from just what we've heard it's a good one. Just my opinion and understanding of the situation.
     
  12. BIG ND SWEATY

    BIG ND SWEATY Edgy

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    The new singles to me don't feel like a progression from Language, they feel more like a slight back-step. The songs so far are very plain and not interesting to listen to and Mike's lack of range is starting to annoy me, the dudes a good singer but he stays at the same pitch constantly and barely varies the volume most of the time. I couldn't care less about them being heavy these days but if they're going to go full on prog then at least make it GOOD prog.
     
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  13. squids

    squids .

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    this.
    i just see it as the same sort of situation as Good Tiger; you have these incredible musicians that have put out albums at the top of their genre, and then they come together and make some uninteresting songs and call it "progression". if you go back and really listen to language, aside from mike saying "ebb and flow" like 50 times, its a really great prog album. a "progression" would be like BTBAM doing Colors, then the Parallax, then Coma Ecliptic. their sound changed a lot on the last album, but it was STILL GOOD. clairvoyant is just radio rock. next thing you know, they'll be putting out coldplay covers.
     
  14. cip 123

    cip 123 SS.org Regular

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    You guys must have very different Radio stations over in the US haha!
     
  15. sakeido

    sakeido Contributor

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    it's actually quite nice when a prog band crawls out of their own collective asses and brings that prog genre musicianship to simpler music.

    clairvoyant is a great followup to Language from what we've heard so far. also, it's not out yet. chill out
     
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  16. Tr3vor

    Tr3vor SS.org Regular

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    My favorite single so far is probably absolve. The rest, I'm just not feeling it. It lacks that something that made the contortionist stand out to me. Hopefully the rest of the songs aren't like that, especially like Reimagined. Reimagined was just so boring.
     
  17. bulb

    bulb SS.org Regular

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    Y'all are haters, the new album is amazing. Its different and a ballsy move. If anyone genuinely thinks this is "radio rock" you literally don't understand what radio rock actually is, and likely are upset that they didn't tickle your screaming fee fees. Anyways, when it drops, sit with it for a while and enjoy it. Despite how "simple" it seems on the surface, it's surprisingly dense music, and as a result it gets even better with each listen.
     
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  18. BIG ND SWEATY

    BIG ND SWEATY Edgy

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    What exactly is ballsy and different about it?
     
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  19. nyxzz

    nyxzz SS.org Regular

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    Have you heard it in it's entirety? I personally like the new songs but they seemed a little disjointed..granted they're not next to each other at all on the album, but the previous albums were really awesome as full musical concept albums. I think that fact may be why singles might not work as well with bands like that, the singles seem out of context if that makes sense.
     
  20. CreptorStatus

    CreptorStatus SS.org Regular

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    Gotta say, i don't mind the newest single. The others didnt do too much for me but I think now that i realize its going to be a pretty straight forward prog rock album, i can get behind it.

    Don't know if anyone else has thought this, but all these songs sound alot like A Perfect Circle to me. Specifically their first album. Mer De Noms.

     

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