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Album Review: Clairvoyant by The Contortionist

The Contortionist return with their new album Clairvoyant on 15th September, via SPV. It’s an album that sees the band take their best elements and forge them with new dynamics. “’Clairvoyant’ is the product of not only months of writing and recording dozens of song ideas over the last year, but also a definitive creative artefact outlining the artistic confluence of the six members of The Contortionist for our past and future endeavours,” says keyboardist Eric Guenther.

“Collectively, we’re feeling proud, apprehensive, but ultimately excited to finally have this record speak for us as a meticulously sculpted voyage into our musical psyche. On album and stage, between the art’s presentation, zealous and even forceful sonic immersion, and interpretable lyrical and visual metaphor, we are attempting to bring the listener deeper into the world and musical language of The Contortionist. ‘Reimagined’ struck everyone simply as the most truthful and sincere place to start in this new universe.”

Take from that what you will. It encapsulates the grandeur at the heart of Clairvoyant. Sure, prog rock can be pretty pompous at the best of times and it’s a fine line between having it backed by quality music and it disappear up its own arse. The Contortionist walk that line throughout Clairvoyant, luckily for the most part it comes in on the right side. ‘Reimagined’ and title track ‘Clairvoyant’ are excellent prog rock tracks.

There’s moments on Clairvoyant where you think the band could be onto something special. ‘Absolve’ and ‘Godspeed’ revel in over the top intricacies and grandeur, the heavier element to their sound gives it an extra kick and excitement. Unfortunately, there’s the other side of the coin. On tracks like ‘Relapse’ there’s moments of ingenuity yet they’re ruined by directionless guitar noodling and a vocal that doesn’t fit right. ‘Return To Earth’ is the perfect example of a prog rock track walking the line and going too far.

When they get it right Clairvoyant is highly enjoyable, unfortunately there’s a few too many moments that make you cringe.

AD Rating 6/10

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