Under The Influence #90: Strei on “Language” by The Contortionist!

How important is the role of a producer? Well there must be a reason why Between The Buried And Me return to Jamie King for every album they create. 2014 saw Indianapolis Indiana Progressive Metallers The Contortionist use his services as they entered The Basement to record their third album in four years and their first with new vocalist Michael Lessard of Last Chance to Reason fame. Citing influences from Meshuggah to Dream Theater and from Deftones to Textures, guitarist Robby Baca leads the band in creating a seamless balance between light and dark with a sophisticated Technical Progressive approach that orientate around lyrics that broach subjects equally as complex. Ask most people about lyrics and Metaphysics in the universe and communication as a celestial phenomenon is the last thing they’ll mention.

Strei comment: “We all come from different musical backgrounds. Aaron [Stafford, Guitars, Bass] grew up listening to classic rock and old school prog, Julien [Doyle, Drums] grew up listening to rap and transitioned into prog and metalcore, while Jeremy [Toppings, Vocals] always felt more at home with post-hardcore. However, one album that united them was “Language” by The Contortionist. Lots of the music we write takes some inspiration from that album. There hasn’t been one song we wrote where the album wasn’t referenced at least once. Language was a sort of new frontier for all three of us. Aaron always loved concept albums but never really experienced one that meshed quite like it, while Julien fell in love with it immediately. It took Jeremy a live listen to fully grasp how incredible the album was, but once that was done, he was hooked. When we all sat down for the first time and sort of threw around ideas of what we wanted this band to sound like, it didn’t take long for this one to come up, and it stuck. We recently released a concept EP of our own, The Artist, which I think you can agree doesn’t really sound like Language. However, believe it or not, it inspired us greatly. From the overarching themes, to the recurring riffs, to the recurring atmosphere, all of it, were all things that we wanted to try and capture for our own album. Moving forward, we’re sure to reference Language many more times!

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