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The Contortionist


with Silent Planet, Skyharbor and Strawberry Girls
Ages 16+ Admitted

$27.50 advance, $95 door

Band Details

From the Promoter

tickets also available at Vertigo Records and both Compact Music locations 
lineup, date, venue, times and ticket price subject to change without notice.

THE CONTORTIONIST

The Contortionist represents fearlessness in musical expression, designed to please artist as much as audience. This band makes progressive metal music, anchored in the heavy sounds that first drew the individual players to the stage, yet unmoored by convention or expectation.

On Clairvoyant, the band’s distinctive fingerprints remain, even as their atmospheric flourishes broaden to encompass ever-richer textures and mine the beauty of simplicity.

For the entirety of their career, The Contortionist has proven capable of being been equally at home on tour with Deftones, Periphery, or Between The Buried And Me, thanks to their dynamic combination of metal’s blunt precision with the adventurous spirit of prog-rock heroes like Rush and King Crimson. The Contortionist integrates seemingly disparate worlds to create their own sound, with a focus on tone, vibe, color, and atmosphere.

The band’s first two records, Exoplanet (2010) and Intrinsic (2012), are monstrously heavy,though no less ambitious than their newer and more expansive creative declarations. The character of The Contortionist’s sound expanded greatly with Language, the 2014 monolithic album that introduced the band’s current lineup of vocalist Michael Lessard, keyboardist Eric Guenther, and bassist Jordan Eberhardt alongside co-founding members Cameron Maynard (guitar) and brothers Robby Baca (guitar) and Joey Baca (drums). In it’s 5/5 review, Substream praised the album as being akin to “a journey through a dream state.” Prog Metal Zone was similarly kind, awarding the album 10/10 and remarking on its propulsive drum rhythms, ambient keyboards, fusion, and “astonishingly inventive flight(s) of musicality.”

Clairvoyant, which reunited the band with producer Jamie King (Between The Buried And Me, Through The Eyes Of The Dead), takes the best elements of The Contortionist’s past and reshapes them as the band follows their individual creative muses toward the future.

The Contortionist ultimately prove to have as much in common with the psychedelic experimentation of later Opeth or Tool and even the textured melodicism of Sigur Ros as they do technical heavy music, but they’ve never sacrificed urgent impact. Critics and fans admire their intelligent approach to the crushing riffs of tech-metal, which becomes more vibrant with elements of ambitious post rock and jazzy / fusion-infused virtuosity. Even when angular riffs, odd time signatures, and devastating breakdowns give way to hypnotic,ethereal, and trancelike musical meditations, The Contortionist are never lacking in total power.

In whatever The Contortionist endeavors to do, there will always be a great amount of thought, attention to detail, and shared love of musicality. They have committed to never surrender to the path of least resistance, always challenging themselves and their audience.

This is art for art’s sake. The Contortionist ease through the doors of perception with grace where possible and smash through the boundaries with absolute force when necessary.
In a short amount of time, THE CONTORTIONIST has enveloped audiences and nearly swallowed them whole. They've toured with a wide-ranging number of acts including PERIPHERY, ALL SHALL PERISH and THE ACACIA STRAIN. The band headlined the inaugural edition of the Summer Slaughter Survivors Tour, as well.

With their earliest self-released work, THE CONTORTIONIST remade the rules within emerging genres like "deathcore" and "djent" as they evolved beyond scenes and categories, even as they were integral enough to be instrumental in defining them. The band teamed with Ken Susi of UNEARTH for their marvelously refreshing, conceptually driven debut, Exoplanet. With album number two, THE CONTORTIONIST entrusted Eyal Levi (DAATH, JOB FOR A COWBOY) and Jason Suecof (TRIVIUM, DEVILDRIVER) to help them capture their at once complex yet defiantly easy-to-connect-with esoteric material, which shatters the boundaries of conventional heavy music note-by-virtuosic-note.

In popular culture we often hear space referred to as "The Final Frontier." And while it's true that the vast majority of our universe remains unknown and deserving of further study, much of the inner workings of human beings beg further contemplation and discovery. How wonderfully appropriate, then, that having delved into deep space with their expansive sound and contemplative narrative on the genre-challenging and wholly impressive Exoplanet, THE CONTORTIONIST turns inward with the stunningly mind-bending follow-up, Intrinsic.

Whereas the first album explored the idea of earth's destruction following the inevitable collapse of our star and the ensuing search for an inhabitable planet to call home, Intrinsic dives deep inside the mind. Moving across several operatic sections, the record transports listeners on a journey through the apparent holographic reality we call "experience," through our very consciousness and metaphysical archetypes. Toward the album's conclusion the band ultimately imagines advancements in neuroscience that would broaden and challenge who we are. All of the music, of course, captures these themes.

Canadian thrash architects VOIVOD would surely be proud of the band's science based subjects. Like IRON MAIDEN before them, THE CONTORTIONIST is the kind of band that can be enjoyed for the basest of reasons but can also send astute listeners running to the library, like all of the generations of people who wanted to read more about the origins of "The Flight of Icarus" or "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner."
Lyrical inspiration and reference points came from a stack of research, which included books like Antonio Damasio's The Feeling of What Happens: Body and Emotion in the Making of Consciousness and Simon Young's Designer Evolution: A Transhumanist Manifesto. Immediate standout cuts "Holomovement," "Causality" (about a person having a near death experience brought on by an obsession with lucidity in dreaming and astral movement) and "Dreaming Schematics" (where scientific minds develop procedures to strengthen and multiply synaptic networks) are epics. These songs and the rest of the album's material inspire food for thought and aesthetic pleasure in equal measure.

THE CONTORTIONIST continues to be a study in contrast. In their quietest, most ambient moments, the band is intimately melodic. Alternately their heavy parts are as alarmingly bombastic as possible. An emphasis on songwriting and structure has resulted in a series of musical journeys that are constantly climbing new summits. There is only one song on the album with anything like a "repeating chorus."

At the same time, the band is always ever careful to tastefully balance technique with purpose. They aren't shredding for shredding's sake. Each section of every song is rooted in logic, meaning and reason.
THE CONTORTIONIST has succeeded at creating intelligently tasteful metal that is as memorable and melodic as it is creative and dynamic. Within their formula, a listener paying close attention is as likely to discover elements akin to MINUS THE BEAR as MESHUGGAH.

Just as different genre-pushing bands broadened their own minds, the men in THE CONTORTIONIST are happy to lead fans through the gateway of heavy music down pathways of new music and self-discovery. With fervent attention to every detail of their composition and presentation, the band's future in the pantheon of heavy music is assured. Intrinsic is the next step in what will become a landmark catalog. THE CONTORTIONIST opens minds from within and without.

SILENT PLANET

Humanity has always had a therapeutic relationship with music. Its ability to shatter man-made walls, create a platform for expression, and illuminate perspectives, has helped ground some and liberate others. We build national anthems out of songs, we immortalize first dances with songs, we cry because of songs. Music—when breathed into with intention, intellect, and purpose—can restore and unify. If you need an example, listen to Silent Planet’s newest album, Everything Was Sound.

Silent Planet—comprised of Alex Camarena, Thomas Freckleton, Garrett Russell and Mitchell Stark—writes with purpose. The LA-based band’s first album, The Night God Slept, gave voice to characters victimized by systemic oppression. The album used historical settings and the characters within it to magnify their marginalized perspectives, resulting in a musical accomplishment outfitted with quality instrumentals, rich storytelling, and a mouthpiece for the silenced. Their second full-length project bears consistent fruit with their first.

Everything Was Sound, the sophomore release on Solid State Records, is unrelenting in its endeavor to marry its sophisticated metalcore sound with the quiet voice of the alienated. The band’s vocalist, Garret Russell, walks us out of their first album’s story and straight into this one: a metaphorical prison housing society’s misunderstood. The panopticon (both a psychological concept and a physical space) is a many roomed, doorless prison equipped with one, concealed guard. Without the ability to see where the guard is looking, the construct effectively controls each inmates behavior. Russell uses this theory (designed by philosopher and social theorist Jeremy Bentham) to represent the societal imprisonment culture places on the mentally wounded. He walks us through nine rooms, with nine varying prisoners, and tells their stories.

“So many people feel completely alone. This album was inspired by the people I’ve interacted with who feel like nobody can or wants to understand them. It’s very evil to leave people isolated like that,” explains Russell. “Our goal is to make people’s stories visible, to give words and to give music to things that aren't often talked about.” Take the track “Panic Room” for example. “God gave me a vision, in a very mystical way, of my friend who suffers with PTSD. I wanted to tell his story in a way that honored him.” Lyrics like, “this is war: A child stumbles from the wreckage holding his salvation - the trigger to cessation - to end us all. I took a life that takes mine, every quiet moment we collapse,” paint a panicked and painful perspective, but one that gave healing to the friend who inspired it. From the song “Understanding Love Is Lost,” about the wreckage of suicide, to “Nervosa,” about the destruction of eating disorders, Silent Planet intentionally introduces us to the struggling souls surrounding us.

And that isn’t all they’re intentional about. The instrumentals, the lyrics, and the artwork are unanimously designed to, in Russell’s words, “challenge intentions, stir the subconscious, and offend assumptions.” Whether it be the enneagram of personality that marks the cover art, the inkblots within the liner notes tethered to each archetype, or the cited sources laced within each song, you’ll feel what Russell says is a “dance between wholeness and oblivion.” The theme weaves itself—through color, word, sound, and design—into all aspects of the project.

Silent Planet’s pursuit is perhaps best stated by the two instrumental tracks within the album—“Tout comprendre” and “C’est tout pardoner”—whose combined titles mean “to understand all is the forgive all.” In the final song, the prisoners escape bondage and unite, planting a new tree of life in the center of the panopticon. “People have been inhabiting inside of their wounds,” explains Russell, “and I believe they can come together to be healed. Step out, see each other, and find freedom in being seen.”

SKYHARBOR

Progressive Metal band from India, started 2008 as a solo project by guitarist Keshav Dhar under the name 'Hydrodjent'. Renamed to 'Skyharbor' in February 2011 to avoid confusion with the 'djent' music genre.
In 2011 two additional musicians joined: Nikhil Rufus Raj on bass (until 2013) and Anup Sastry on drums (until 2015). Daniel Tompkins from 'TesseracT' and Sunneith Revankar from 'Bhayanak Maut' were featured both as vocalists on the 2012 double disc release 'Blinding White Noise: Illusion & Chaos' on each disc respectively.
Goddess Gagged bassist Krishna Jhaveri replaced Nikhil Rufus Raj in 2013 and in 2015 both singer Daniel Tompkins and drummer Anup Sastry left the band and were replaced by the US-American singer and producer Eric Emery and drummer Aditya Ashok.

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