Before I move on let's hear a song to keep you entertained:
This sense of community causes us to share with each other music from all over the place which, in turn, makes us more open minded towards music and I believe that open mindedness, sense of community and connection we have with our favorite artists is needed to follow a band through a stylistic change as large as the one The Contortionist have gone through.
The second point of the story is actually the more important one; a huge change between Intrinsic and Language is the fact that Jon Carpenter left the band and Mike Lessard from Last Chance to Reason took his place and I believe this really drives the new style home with style because Lessard is a phenomenal vocalist.
What does this have to do with the story? Well, Carpenter left the band to spend more time with his girlfriend and child so if not for that guy's sister Language would honestly have been a different album.
Starting with a lush vocal-centric intro that truly sets the tone, the album immediately tells people to leave their deathcore expectations at the door and enjoy the ride. Throughout the album's running time there are times where you will probably feel like you are listening to The Contortionist but at others Last Chance To Reason and yet others Cynic. However, if you surrender yourself to the ebb and flow of the album, follow your intuition and enjoy the primordial sound of it all the source should arise and you'll see that it can truly thrive on its own.
Contrary to things you would put in your mouth this album is a lot easier to digest when swallowed whole rather than piece by piece and if not easier it's at least preferable. The way it flows from prog rock and fusion to deathcore and math rock it truly feels like a single coherent composition, helped in a great way by Lessard's vocals and lyrics which tie the whole thing together. Because of this I find it hard to choose a favorite track and honestly I don't want to. If you are a fan of progressive music and like any of the bands or genres already mentioned you owe it to yourself to check this album out, it will no doubt end up on numerous year end lists and it would be a shame to miss it.
Even with everything it's got going for it there are things that will no doubt annoy long time listeners. The qualms people had with Intrinsic are mostly still here, the mellow atmosphere will disappoint those looking for another Exoplanet and the deathcore bits that are still there will no doubt bring sour frowns on the faces of those who want a fully Cynic-ised album. The use of growled vocals in the background of clean melodies (like in Primordial Sound) sometimes feel unnecessary and I believe it could have benefited from either a harmony or just letting the clean voice stand on its own but it's a minor complaint all things considered.
The strides The Contortionist has taken are quite extraordinary, the vocals have improved, no offense to Carpenter but Lessard has a stronger singing voice, the production and, in my honest opinion, the songwriting have too so for me this is The Contortionist's best work so far and I can't wait to see where they go from here.
They truly speak...my language.*
*considering all the horrible references and puns throughout the review you didn't expect me to skip that one did you?