by Robert Bell
6 p.m. Downtown Music Hall. $12 adv., $15 day of.
Indianapolis quintet The Contortionist has an appropriate name. This is a group that takes heavy metal and bends and twists and turns and warps it into improbable shapes.
In a recent interview with metalobsession.net, Contortionist singer Jonathan Carpenter and guitarist Robby Bacca cited Meshuggah as an influence, which probably won't be a surprise to anyone familiar with that experimental Swedish metal band. But Carpenter also mentioned cult prog rock favorites Dream Theater and ambient innovator Brian Eno.
You can hear the Eno influence on the new Contortionist track "Holomovement," from the band's album "Intrinsic," released yesterday. It's largely an atmospheric, quiet song, buffeted by bursts of brutal math-metal. There are moments that recall the minimalist compositions of Steve Reich. But even though the record is rife with these quieter stretches, there are enough tricky time signatures and down-tuned guitar skronk to satisfy the most discerning of cerebral metal heads.
Also performing: Jeff Loomis, a seven-string sorcerer who was in the long-running genre-bending metal band Nevermore; Death metal outfit 7 Horns 7 Eyes; U.K. prog-metal act Chimp Spanner, and Arkansas five-piece They Were All Goliaths.
After the jump, check out the track "Holomovement" by The Contortionist.