The time has finally come to take a closer look at this highly anticipated album! It bears saying that there will be some spoilers in this review. Given the timing, every track will be briefly covered in some form or fashion contrary to the usual process. You’ve been warned. Keep reading or grab your pre-order HERE.

There’s a calm before the storm followed by a shock wave. From the very first moments of “Monochrome (Passive)”, it’s clear that the listener is in for an experience. Depth and beauty can be found between the sonic waves put forth in The Contortionist’s initial steps through the 50+ minute effort known is “Clairvoyant”. Thoughts of the legends – Pink Floyd perhaps – sprung to mind while listening to this opening track just before the album swept into the chords of “Godspeed”. This is where vocalist Michael Lessard steps into the fray, lending a soothing voice across the sweet instrumental current provided by the Baca brothers, Cameron Maynard, Jordan Eberhardt, and Eric Guenther. The emotional tension put forth could be cut from thin air. The atmospheric undercurrent on this record is palpable. The composition laid down is a foundation for greatness. Well done, The Contortionist. Well done.

“Reimagined” served as the first single on the album with it’s music video being released back in June. It’s easily among the lightest tracks most fans had heard from the band to date. However, whatever it may have lacked in weight was lifted high with exceptional songwriting ability. The title track “Clairvoyant” brings arguably the first heavy moments of the album with a dreamlike, jazzy flair. It also brings the album’s first and only harsh vocals filtered far into the background of Michael Lessard’s angelic voice before they come out in full about halfway. The music here reminds me a bit of one of my recent favorite, now defunct, band Means End (good thing we still have Trove) before opening into a beautiful, acoustically infused streak on the later half and back again.

“The Center” is quite literally the center of this nine track album. It brings things back to a more relaxed state before plunging ears into atmosphere on the tail end. “Absolve” was the second single from “Clairvoyant”, providing some expansion upon the introduction “Reimagined” left. “Relapse” gives some sporadic, heavier groove but ultimately maintains the lighter approach. Without going into too much detail, the same could really be said of “Return to Earth” before hitting the soothing end of “Monochrome (Pensive)”.

All in all, it’s safe to call “Clairvoyant” a great album… Maybe even more than great. However, similar to its predecessor 2014 “Language”, it may be a divisive one. The previous record saw The Contortionist straying further from their heavy “Exoplanet” side than ever before. “Clairvoyant” has strayed that much further. To each his own on that topic but it’s easy to love the new direction all the same. The Contortionist have ultimately continued their legacy of crafting excellent music, no matter the approach. The worst I could say of this LP is that some of the keyboard parts elevated in the mix struck me as cheesy at times. On the other hand, that has always been a part of the band’s sound in some form or another and has worked for them. Other than that, I don’t really have anything harsh to say about this record. Once again… Well done, The Contortionist. Well done.

This is a  magnificently crafted effort with thoughtful songwriting and beautiful soundscapes. For being what it is, “Clairvoyant” is a major success of a record that’s quite enjoyable on a number of fronts. “Clairvoyant” is set to hit stores on September 15th. Keep in mind that pre-orders are currently available to those who CLICK HERE. Chances are that many of you will thoroughly enjoy this listening experience.

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