Deicide brought it's In The Minds Of Evil tour to Mill City Nights in Minneapolis October 14 and along with them was 4 very evil bands: Septicflesh, Inquisition, Abysmal Dawn and Carach Angren. The show start just a little after 8:30pm and the darkness was about to begin.
Next up was the LA Death Metal band, Abysmal Dawn. They brought a fury of awesome Death Metal, insane blast beats and an overall crushing sound that rocked the placed to it's core. The band also showcased a few new songs off their brand new album, Obsolescence. That should keep older fans of the band quite happy. This also kept the Death Metal crowd happy and engaged as the Black Metal assault of Inquisition was about to commence.
*No Abysmal Dawn set list available at this time*
Making their return to the states after a very successful run with Poland's Behemoth is Columbia's Inqusition. This two man Black Metal band brought the crowd to the depths of Hell and back with Dagon's unique Black Metal vocal approach and Incubus's insane hyper blasting on the drums. Their 5 song set felt very short, but like every time they play, it left everyone in the crowd wanting more. It's amazing that they have not done a US headlining run yet.
Force of the Floating Tomb
Nefarious Dismal Orations
Astral Path to Supreme Majesties
Infinite Interstellar Genocide
Where Darkness Is Lord and Death the Beginning
Main Support came all they way from Greece with the Industrial, Blackened, Death Metal band Septicflesh. Their 45 minute set, much like their headlining set back in June 2014, was a great sight to see. The whole band was firing on all cylinders, from their usual opening of Vampire From Nazareth (Which is the best song they could open with) to ending with the killer track, Anubis. Septicflesh know how to put the crowd into a frenzy and was a great choice for the pure evil that was about to headline, Deicide.
Vampire From Nazareth
Order of Dracul
A Great Mass of Death
Finally was the headliner of the night and one of the greatest Death Metal bands of the old school generation, Deicide. Right from the start, Glen Benton and Co. destroyed everything in it's path and did not let up until they left the stage for the night. While touring behind their latest album, In The Minds Of Evil, Deicide did make sure to play a great assortment of the bands entire catalog Everything from Once Upon The Cross to Scars Of The Crucifix to brand new songs like Godkill and Beyond Salvation. Deicide left the old school Death Metal fans cheering and new Death Metal fans wanting to know all they can about Deicide.
In The Minds Of Evil
When Satan Rules His World
Serpents Of The Light
They Are The Children Of The Underworld
Dead But Dreaming
Scars Of The Crucifix
Once Upon The Cross
End The Wrath Of God
Dead By Dawn
Homage For Satan
Simply put, the In The Minds Of Evil tour was one of the darkest and evilest tours to hit Minnesota in quite some time and was a rousing success. All 5 bands slayed and there is no doubt that these bands will be back and even better the next time they come to town.
- That Drummer Guy
*Pictures provided by Lynn Strege & Josh Rundquist*
Z² (aka Ziltoid 2 aka Zed Squared) has been in the works for quite a long time now. Devin Townsend knew that if he was to make a sequel to his 2007 solo album, Ziltoid The Omniscient, he would have to make it bigger, better, and even zanier than before. Since he formed The Devin Townsend Project back in 2009, he has a full band in his arsenal to make this possible. Drummer Ryan Van Poederooyen, bassist Brian "Bev" Waddell, and guitarist/keyboardist Dave Young help fill out the main parts of the band with a guest appearance on Sky Blue by Anneke Van Giersbergen and guest appearances by Chris Jericho (Captain Spectacular), Dominique Lenore Persi (War Princess) and even Anneke on some parts of Dark Matters. Where does Hevy Devy venture on this double album? There's only one way to find out for sure. Indeed....
The first of the two discs is Sky Blue. Sky Blue is the DTP album of the two discs and fans of the albums Addicted, Epicloud, Ki, and Infinity, will definitely not be disappointed. The album starts with Rejoice. It starts off with some light scattered instruments before the band fully kicks in. The song is deeply reminiscent of something off Addicted, but a bit more refined. Rather than more of the standard Rock beats that drives most of Addicted, RVP lays in some double bass throughout the verse. Anneke and Devin share vocal duties on this mid tempo song. It chugs along graciously. If Top 40 Rock radio knew better, this would be a solid Top 10 hit without question. Fallout is the next song and it starts with a very solid riff by Devin with Anneke's vocals slightly in the background before she fully takes over and sings the verse. For anyone that's a fan of what she has done in the past with DTP's work, this is another fantastic representation of what she can do. If you had to compare it to anything, imagine Hyperdrive mixed with The Way Home. A very happy, beautiful track.
Next up is Midnight Sun, which starts off with a nice acoustic guitar intro before kicking in a mellow to mid-paced ballad. Picture the beautiful moments of Terria and Infinity mixed with Where We Belong off Epicloud and that is a great description. Devin lays a very emotionally driven solo in this song that can bring the right person to tears. An amazing track. A New Reign is the next song that starts off very light with Devin and an acoustic guitar, with Anneke just starting to sing before it kicks in. This is another very emotionally driven ballad that can tug at your heart strings. It is a bit faster than Midnight Sun, but still a bit soft and hits home. In typical Devin fashion this song does take a couple twists and turns that you wouldn't expect, like some monster growls right before the song gets pretty heavy in the middle section and climaxes right back to where it started before finishing strong and powerful. Like a lot of Devin songs, this song has a bit of some ambiance at the end of A New Reign before completely taking a 180 and going into Universal Flame. To the typical music listener, Universal Flame is the most fun, poppy song on the album. Even if you are not paying attention to the vocals, the song just fills you with good spirits and makes you wanna take a cosmic journey. Imagine if True North from Epicloud as even more poppy and throw in a little Bend It Like Bender for good measure and you have the most fun, positive feeling song on the entire album. Again there is no real reason why this shouldn't be a Top 10 Rock song, there just isn't.
Next up is Warrior which starts with some "Ahh Ahh Ahh's" before kicking in. This is indeed one of the more technical songs, even if it doesn't exactly sound like it at first. Upon repeated you hear how insane this song is. While a more midtempo number, this is one of the highlights for RVP, with the intricate double bass in the verse to the double cymbal work in the chorus, this is an impression job of playing for the song and showing off your chops at the same time. Anneke does the majority of the vocals on this one and they are stellar. The title track, Sky Blue is a bit of a different direction than we have heard from the DTP to date, a bit more electronic overall and feels like a majestic pop song. Screw Rock radio, this is top of the Pop charts worthy. It's very danceable, features the vocal affects and synths of pop music, Devin and Anneke make this song come to life with the vocals. If there was ever a Metal musician you wanted on Pop radio, it's Devin, this proves it. Silent Militia is the next song up and it starts off with faded vocals before kicking in with snare and guitar before kicking back into heartbeat tempo, chuggy guitar driven goodness. This song feels like it could have been right off of Infinity, if Infinity was made right now. It's the right mix of dance music and heaviness to make it fit on that crazy album known as Infinity. The song ends crazy with double bass before drifting away into the atmosphere.
This leads into Rain City, which starts off as beautiful as Devin can get with a great piano and vocal intro leading into some programmed drums. It has a great Ki feel before getting just a tad heavy. Rain City feels like a song that should have been on Terria, in the best way possible. The song mainly ends right around the 4 minute mark and gradually drifts into the atmosphere with some bells, synths, acoustic guitar and a Ki/Ghost like feel. Forever is the next track up and it starts right off in the Ki world with Devin and piano. This beautiful song continues until near the end of the song where you hear some, well, almost Black Metal sounding faded screams. With a few seconds left of forever slowly but surely rising, it leads into Before We Die, which is the longest song on the album at 8:25. Once again this features some very beautiful and epic moments from everyone in the band. Imagine Save Our Now from Epicloud and Numbered from Addicted with the epic Universal Choir in the chorus. This is simply gorgeous in every way. Once again Devin features a short, but awesome, guitar solo before the mid section of the track. The main part of the song ends with synths, acoustic guitar and Anneke's beautiful vocals. The ending of the full track ends with some dissonant synth sounds while ending the album with The Ones We Love. This is a short outro track featuring some spooky sounds along with Devin and Anneke's vocals. The song slowly fades away leaving you wanting more, but as if Devin already had that planned, there is more...much more.....ATTACK!!!
*This review of Dark Matters will not contain spoilers to the album's story, that is meant to be heard on it's own in full. So don't read about the premise. Buy the album and listen to it and love every second.*
The album that made all the fans of Strapping Young Lad stop questioning whether Devin could still be heavy, Ziltoid The Omniscient, now has arguably one of the very few sequels worth checking out, Dark Matters. The Ziltoid album starts with the double album title track, Z². This starts off slow and brooding, but don't worry, it builds up like the intro music to a movie. The song just builds more and more and doesn't stop the attack once it kicks in. The end of the song in particular features the heaviness that fans of the original album will love. The next song is From Sleep Awake and it is more of a grandiose song, if not the most grandiose song on both albums. Oddly enough, Anneke is featured prominently on this song. The song is majestic and is a great intro Ziltoid and the story starts to begin from here. Ziltoidian Empire is the next track and this is where a lot of the fun begins. The song starts off like a great DTP song, just slightly darker and more double bass, then it just gets nutty. RVP's insane double bass power starts to shine in this song before just going off the deep end on a killer drum fill. After a short story interlude, the music reminiscent of the first Ziltoid album starts to take over, and it gets insane from everyone apart of the album. The nutty odd time signatures start to come into play and the song starts to feel like you are amidst an alien battlefield. The song only gets faster and faster as it ends and gets into SYL territory, yes...Strapping Young Lad (Detox) thrashy, style fun. War Princess is the next song up and like the title suggests, it gets into detail about the character played by Persi. The song starts off quite midempo goodness. The song showcases how amazing of a singer Persi is *If you are not familiar with Stolen Babies, go check them out ASAP!* While being midtempo, the song crushes with it's heaviness, just like Sumeria did on Deconstruction.
The next song is the first official song released from Z² , Deathray. The song has been labeled as a bit polarizing as many imagined that the first song released from Dark Matters would be an over the top crazy odd-tempo orgy, but Deathray is actually one of the most straightforward songs on the album. All you gotta do is think of the film, Mars Attacks, and that should describe the zaniness of this song. It's a solid number and does exactly what needs to happen, set the stage for the story while being a rocking song. While not entirely similar imagine Ziltoidia Attaxx! combined with Vampira from Synchestra and you've got Deathray. March Of The Poozers starts off with a very heavy, Gojira like, march riff. While containing a couple quirks, the song stays pretty much the same level the whole time, a fun heavy mosh song, like you would at a Gojira show. Next up is Wandering Eye. the song starts with kooky keyboards and Devin's vocals. The song eventually starts to pick up and starts to get zany again before showing off more of the story leading into the second longest song on the album, Earth. It starts off a bit triumphant once again but the chaos is about to commence. This song has all the craziness that you were hoping for. While everyone shines on this song, no one shines more on this song than Mr. Ryan Van Poederooyen. If you followed his posts on social media, you know how he was talking about how this album had some of his craziest, hardest and most jaw dropping moments, it's almost entirely on this song. Earth is essentially all the craziest moments on ZTO in a 7 minute song. *I consider RVP one of the best guys I know in metal, both personally and in drumming and I am proud to call him a friend and so very proud of his work here, it proves that he is now an unstoppable drumming machine.*
Ziltoid Comes Home doesn't stop in the relentlessness. This starts off with an absolute bang. It is super fast and thrashy. While it's not really fair to compare this to SYL, it has some SYL moments. The chorus of this song is one of the best moments in the Ziltoid story. So epic feeling and hits perfectly at the right time. The death growls come back in this song just a tad but are also well placed. Again I must say it the chorus, especially the ending chorus is one of the best moments in Ziltoid history, it is so perfect. Absolutely insane, epic feeling, and grandiose. Through The Wormhole is a story segment. That brings the story to a climax *but you'll have to listen to the album for what happens* Dimension Z features the Universal Choir again and sing in perfect harmony and love just like the Whos in Whoville in The Grinch That Stole Christmas and the story ends with a bit of an epilogue at the end that brings the story of Dark Matters to a close.
Z² is exactly what you'd hope for from Devin Townsend. Sky Blue showcases the lighter, poppier, emotionally driven side of Devin while Dark Matters brings all the zaniness, craziness, wackiness, and shear chaos that you'd expect from Ziltoid. In short, Z² is almost like a best of The Devin Townsend Project with all brand new material. Everyone involved is at their absolute prime on these two albums. Anneke again proves that she should be a permanent member of the DTP. Jericho serves his purpose perfectly as Captain Spectacular and Persi, in all honesty, could very well fill in for Anneke anytime at a show and fit in just like Anneke was there (plus, throw in the occasional killer scream). Townsend has been reported that he may be taking an extended break after the Ziltoid musical in 2015 (at least over a year) and honestly, if anyone has earned a break, it is Devin. Let him refuel is batteries, get some more of the world's finest coffee bean and present us with what he will have in store for all of us after this magnificent triumph known as Z².
*Once again, in case you did in fact skip the review, no spoilers for the story of this album. But the album, listen to it and full and enjoy!*
The Devin Townsend Project- Z² (Sky Blue/Dark Matters) available October 28th via HevyDevy Records/Inside Out
- Josh Rundquist (That Drummer Guy)
Trees On Mars started in January 2013 and in that almost 2 year span have created their debut album, The Sapling, which will be coming out November 4th. Grant Tyler (Guitar), Hayden Graham (Guitar) and Scott Barber (Bass & Drums) come from Columbia, SC with their unique spin on Instrumental Prog. While many Instrumental albums are either way too short or start to feel too long, The Sapling comes in at just a tad over 35 minutes, which is nearly perfect. Along with a perfect album length, the songs are all well crafted and flow together seamlessly. Let's divulge into this spectacular album.
The album starts with It's Not But It Isn't, which has a very unique start by fusing together acoustic, almost Bluegrass sounding guitar work over Progressive Metal. Once the song fully kicks in it shifts into many forms. One thing to particularly notice on this song is Barber's fantastic use of drum fills right before the end of the song. After this comes Hey Man, That's Not Cool. But unlike the song title, it is indeed very cool (haha, play on words). The song is upbeat and very melodic with it's Prog roots and ends with a nice mellow note held out. In The Wake starts off sounding very melancholic and brooding, slowly getting heavier and heavier. The second half of the song, after some nice fill work again by Barber, gets into Doom Metal territory and slowly fades out. The tempo picks up again on Niacin. This song would not be out of place on a Scale The Summit album, and that is very much a good thing. The last quarter of the song gets very aggressive with some blast beats and some very thrashy guitar work, which adds some diversity into the sound. Birds & Squirrels is another awesome uptempo song. It is very catchy and a great song that leaves you wanting more. Blueberry Jam comes up next and brings things down to a nice mellow jam session. It has a great Post Rock feel throughout. The guitar work near the middle of the song, while simplistic, really shines through and is so pleasing to the ear. While being one of the more mellow and simplistic songs on the albums, it is easily one of the best and a great change of pace for the album. Ode To The Vulture (Featuring Plini) is the longest song on the album at just over 5 minutes. This song is arguably the best showcase of what Trees On Mars is all about. Phenomenal songwriting from everyone in the band and 22 year old Australian guitarist Plini, really shines as well with his guitar solo roughly half way through the song. Just a very fun and catchy song all the way through. First Place At The Turtle Race, much like the name sort of eludes to, starts off quite mellow and gradually picks up the pace in tempo and musicality. The song shifts quite a few times throughout everything from Jazz to Samba to Post Rock with tremolo guitar. The song is an incredible rush of a feeling. Explosions On Olympus Moons has a very spacey vibe. Throughout the song it feels like you are floating in outer space (While not sounding the same, think of the imagery in the video for Mastodon's Oblivion with a heavier Pink Floyd vibe musically). This a great song to hear at night and just relax. The album ends with Would You Believe Me If I Told You I've Been There Before. It starts off somewhat as the album begins with acoustic guitars in the background over Prog Metal. It's a fantastic song to end the album with, much like Drifting Figures was the perfect song to end Scale The Summit's The Collective. It keeps building and building then suddenly fades away.
Trees On Mars is well on their way to become one of the best bands that Instrumental Prog can offer. Throughout the album you can hear so many shades of the band's influences with it all flowing together and sounding authentic and organic. And with production and mixing from Eyal Levi (arguably one of the greatest up and coming producers in music, let alone Metal) it adds such clarity and quality to the overall experience. Once The Sapling springs to life November 4th, 2014, things will only get bigger and bigger for Trees On Mars.
Trees On Mars- The Sapling available November 4th, 2014 via Bandcamp
- Josh Rundquist
Black Crown Initiate started in 2012 and in those two years have started to make a huge name for themselves. Getting on gigantic Metal tours, releasing a buzz-worthy EP and now they have released their debut album, The Wreckage Of Stars. Still, many metal fans are not familiar with the band. Simply put, Black Crown Initiate is what happens when you take the best parts of Akercoke, Cynic, Meshuggah and Fleshgod Apocalypse and fuse them into an incredible 5 piece Progressive Death Metal band. The Wreckage Of Stars could arguably be one of the greatest debut Metal albums ever. Here's why.
The album starts off with Great Mistake. It starts with an acoustic guitar passage that continues on as the rest of the instrumental part of the band begins their Death Metal assault. The death growls are so ferocious. You'd think that's all you'd need in a band, but the clean vocals are just as incredible. Both balance each other out and create a fantastic atmosphere behind the chaos of the music being played. Half way through the song it starts to focus a bit more on a breakdown with clean vocals (a concept that needs to be utilized more). And ends with it's killer, catchy chorus that once it starts being played live, everyone will start singing along with. The Fractured One is next and it starts off with all guns blazing and super fast blast beats. The whole song has a very aggressive Death Metal feel to it. Fans of the modern sound of Death Metal will love this track. Malignant is the next track and once again it starts with acoustic guitars, and then leads into pure chaos. Picture Fleshgod Apocalypse without the orchestra and that perfectly describes this song. The Human Lie Manifest once again starts off with ferocious blast beats and a Death Metal attack. The whole song flies by as fast as it can go until it leads into a a nice heavy beatdown section followed by more hyper speed Death Metal madness. Withering Waves takes a bit more of a break from all the chaos, although this one is still insane in it's own right. This song is currently the lead single off the album, and for good reason. It showcases a bit of everything the band can do. The chorus, once again, is unbelievably catchy and powerful. The middle of the song slows everything down and somewhat leads into an Damnation era Opeth interlude. while progressively building bigger and bigger until It leads back into the final chorus. It's a rare thing to say about an album, but the single is one of the strongest tracks on the entire album. To The Eye That Leads You is a bit more into the Meshuggah realm of the band while it still has awesome blast beat segments. The title track, The Wreckage of Stars, starts off very melancholic and somber. It's not until around the 2 minute mark where things pick up a tad with some incredible drumwork over very simple guitar lines. This has more of a Post Rock/Post Metal feel. 3/4ths through the song it starts to get heavy with a gigantic breakdown, and the first appearance of vocals on the song. The song ends in a very Atmospheric Death Metal embrace before floating away. Shapes Collapse brings back the chaos. This is a more straight ahead Death Metal song than most of the rest of the album until a little past half way through where it gets into a quiet, bass driven interlude. This leads to a nice Meshuggah and insane drum, breakdown to close out the track. Purge is up next and this leads in with a beautiful guitar passage. This has some of the most variance in any track on the album. This heavily shows off the Akercoke mixed with Cynic feel and may be one of the best tracks on the entire album. Everyone in the band shines on this song in one way or the other. The album closes with the shortest song on the album at 2 minutes and 23 seconds, Linear (Side Note: I got to hear this one back in June in the Black Crown Initiate Van and was beyond spellbound). This song is spectacular and features one of the most under-utilized ideas in metal - Blast Beats and Clean Vocals. The only thing wrong with this song is that it is too short. it makes you want so much more. One of the finest ways to end an album.
Without a shadow of a doubt, Black Crown Initiate is one of the bands in the current generation to save Metal. They take Prog, Death Metal, a little Djent and Atmosphere and fuse it into the perfect formula for what current Metalheads should listen to. If all goes right in the world, Black Crown Initiate will make it huge and will make the Metal world a better place. Now get up and go get The Wreckage of Stars.....NOW!!!
Black Crown Initiate- The Wreckage Of Stars Available NOW via eOne Music
- Josh Rundquist (That Drummer Guy)
It has been over 2 decades since we last saw an album from the legendary Power/Thrash Metal band, Sanctuary. Warrel Dane and Jim Shepard went on to form the also legendary band, Nevermore. But in 2010 Sanctuary officially reformed and 4 years later the world has received the latest offering from Sanctuary, The Year The Sun Died. Does Sanctuary still live up to their former glory? Let's find out!
The album begins with the first single, Arise And Purify. It is a great fast and heavy way to start off an album fans have been waiting so very long for. Dane's unforgettable voice still shines through as clear as ever. The solos are amazing and everything feels so fresh, as if the band never left. The next track, Let The Serpent Follow Me, has a bit more dynamics to it. When it is fast, it is fast, when it is mellow, it is mellow. Overall, a killer song. Exitium (Anthem Of The Living) is up next and it starts off with a quite epic intro that leads into the early day Sanctuary sound. For those that love the mid-tempo Sanctuary, this song was written for you. Question Existence Fading sounds like straight up Nevermore, which is not a bad thing (and let's be honest, Sanctuary and Nevermore go hand in hand). A very solid, straight up rocker. I Am Low is one of the few mellow moments of the entire album. The music brings back the memory of the song The Legacy by Testament. A great break from all the heaviness and thrashy moments that fill up the rest of the album. The next song up is Frozen, which is a killer in your face Thrash song. This song feels right at home with something off Dead Heart In A Dead World or Enemies Of Reality by Nevermore and the chorus is so, so catchy. One Final Day (Sworn To Believe) is actually an acoustic driven track. It still features some electric guitar leads and drums, but Dane and the acoustic guitars drive this song. More upbeat than I am Low, so it's not really fair to call this one a ballad, just acoustic and awesome. Up next is The World is Wired. It starts with a lone guitar ala Judas Priest and leads to a nice mid tempo hard rocker filled with double bass and soaring vocals. The Dying Age is more somber and a bit slower track. In a way it almost feels like a track off Alice In Chain's self titled album (if it had a tinge double bass). The acoustic instrumental interlude, Ad Vitam Aetemam, fills up the next track. It progressively gets heavier and heavier until it unleashes into the title track The Year The Sun Died. The somber guitar continues in this song and helps give the song the most epic feeling in the entire album. The song is filled with despair and no hope, a great feeling for the entire album. The album closes with Waiting For The Sun. This is another song that kinda has that late 80's Power Thrash feel mixed with Alice In Chains (Seattle style) Hard Rock. A different ending than one would expect from Sanctuary, but a very nice fit.
The Year The Sun Died is a much different album than one would have expected from Sanctuary. It is a bit more diverse in sound (especially in the second half). It is filled with Power, Thrash, Hard Rock and great acoustic passages that makes this a fun listen. One thing to note about the entire album is that whenever Dane hits his infamous falsetto vocals, it is used more as background vocals, rather than in the forefront like the bands first two albums Refuge Denied and Into The Mirror are known for. Don't let that ruin it for you, those falsettos are still awesome! Now let's all hope for a full fledged 2015 Sanctuary World Tour!
Sanctuary- The Year The Sun Died available October 14th via Century Media
- Josh Rundquist (That Drummer Guy)
The Contortionist is a band that has gone through a few major changes since their beginning in 2007. Their biggest change being what they sound like. Back on their first EP, Shapeshifter, the band sounded like a Deathcore group. But in those 7 years, 1 EP and 3 albums later; The Contortionist has flourished into a modern day Progressive Metal band. Old fans of the band will always love the debut album, Exoplanet, the most and do not like the change in sound for the band. But newer fans of the band and those who can appreciate a band trying to spread their wings and explore their creativity will find things to appreciate on their second album, Intrinsic and now, Language. 3 almost major changes in the band is in the new lineup. The Contortionist now features 3 new members consisting of new frontman Michael Lessard (also of Last Chance To Reason), full time keyboardist Eric Guenther, and new bassist Jordan Eberhardt (Formerly of Scale The Summit). Language is a continuation of stepping away from the Deathcore sound and showcasing the broader aspects of Progressive Metal. If you haven't heard the album yet, here is what Language is all about.
The album opens with The Source, which may be one of the most soothing openings to a Metal album in recent times. The intro mainly showcases piano, synths and Lessard's soothing vocals. Light acoustic guitars also are featured lightly in the background. It feels very much like a New Age song. Very soothing and beautiful beyond words. This quickly changes when the song transitions into Language I: Intuition. This was the first single from the album and a brilliant choice for a single. The song starts off mellow with clean guitar and synths and then transitions itself heavier with the inclusion of the rest of the band. Lessard shows off his great clean vocal approach while also beginning to show his growls and screams in the right spots. Overall, while the first part of this two part song is quite mellow, it does feature it's share of heavy moments near the end before exploding into Language II: Conspire. The second half of the song Language starts off with what sounds like a very cool off time drumbeat by Joey Baca and continues being very heavy. It has it's share of clean, beautiful moments as well. The ending of the song Language may be one of the most beautiful moments in Metal in 2014. Integration is the next song and starts off once again with some very spacy synth sounds before launching into a nice, Cynic influenced, riff. The song is a quaint, mellow song overall, even with its distorted guitars and odd time signatures. But near the end it gets nice and heavy again with screams and Exoplanet style riffing. Thrive is up next and it is easily the overall heaviest song on the album. With the exception of the middle section, which is in 9/8 and features a bass solo by Eberhardt (his only contribution to the album before joining), the song is just heavy from start to finish. Very fast and upbeat with lots of time signature changes. It's easily one of the best tracks on the album. Primordial Sound is one of the more mellow songs on the album, but it features such a great musical soundscape. It is perfect from start to finish. While there isn't too many heavy moments on this song, except near the middle, it flows together so well. Arise is right up there with Thrive as the heaviest song. The song absolutely showcases Robby Baca and Cameron Maynard's exceptional guitar work. It also features one of the only uses of blast beats on the entire album. The next song up is Ebb & Flow. Unless you count Language I and II as one song, this is the longest song on the album. This once again showcases a huge Cynic inspired Progressive Metal sound. It once again is one of the best songs on the album. Joey Baca showcases his amazingly dynamic drumming on this song flawlessly. The ending to Ebb & Flow is the biggest highlight of the entire album without question, so heavy, so beautiful, so perfect. The perfect...Ebb & Flow. The album ends with The Parable. This song is a great blend of mellow, intricate, heavy, and catchy. In a way, it's the entire album of Language fit into one song and the perfect way to close the album.
All in All Language is a perfect album for fans of Prog Metal. Again, old school fans of The Contortionist will have a hard time digesting this album because it's not "Brutal," but the fans who care enough will see Language and enjoy every second of it. It's an easy contender for 'Feel Good Metal Album Of 2014'. While treading on the subject of Language as a whole, it does feel like a concept album about the use of Language in life. Just imagine where you'd be in life without Language, both the vocation and the album. Now go support The Contortionist in any way you can (and Last Chance To Reason as well!)
The Contortionist- Language available NOW via eOne/Goodfight Music
- Josh Rundquist (That Drummer Guy)