Midwestern progressive metal act, The Contortionist, return with another chapter in their transformation story. This particular collection of tracks making up a quick, yet most satisfying, EP is entitled Our Bones (eOne Music). While the group has moved on from their deathcore character, harsh vocals return to this release that brings some promise for future releases as well.
‘Follow’ opens the record and really spells out what to expect. Catchy riffs and hooks, atmosphere, and harsh vocals sprinkled in. Overall, a pretty chill but a nice way to jump into a short EP. ‘Early Grave’ follows a very similar pattern but has moments of aggressiveness that splits up the streaks of mellowness. Then the bridge in the middle hits just like a post-metal climax which is then one-upped by a heavy outro that is the biggest exclamation mark on Our Bones. The last original track is entitled ‘All Grey’ and it acts as a ballad for this album. Only piano and vocals are heard on this sub-two-minute song that gets right to the point like a typical album outro. Then comes the cover song. The Contortionist tries their hand at covering ‘1979’ by The Smashing Pumpkins. They do a great job of sticking to the original material, but I was lost on the vocals and really no experimentation at all to make this cover their own. Not a missed opportunity, but I was expecting a bit more especially out of the closing track.
While the last thing I recall from Our Bones is not my fondest memory, the original material put together on this EP certainly make up for it and then some. The Contortionist can certainly conjure a wide variety of solid material based on the small sample size. That, in theory, is what every band should be striving to do on an EP release. Give your long-time fans something to snack on before a full release but also offer a taste to potentially some new listeners.
6 / 10