US prog metallers The Contortionist were so impressed by TINAS‘ coverage of their latest album “Language” that vocalist Michael Lessard decided to give us an exclusive track-by-track rundown of the album. Enjoy…
‘The Source’ – I wrote the original draft for this song at 3 AM when a burst of creativity struck. I went through 2-3 drafts of it before the other guys helped me develop it into the track it became. The main idea behind it conceptually was to start with a single vocal layer that branches into an ever-growing arrangement that eventually flows into the next song.
‘Language I: Intuition’ – This was the first track written for the album. After laying down a rough outline for it we started developing from it the themes that would show themselves throughout the album. It became the foundation for the rest of the album.
‘Language II: Conspire’ – Built along with ‘Language I’, we used this song to expand and experiment with some of the ideas that had been previously laid. The goal was to create as much contrast between the two pieces to reinforce the opposite perspectives that the concept was moving toward.
‘Integration’ – Based off three twelve-tone matrices that Robby (Baca – guitar) developed, each matrix forming it’s own unique soundscape for me to tell the story over. The aim was to go for something a little more disjointed at times and continue with the idea of using contrast. I feel like these things led to it being one of the more progressive sounding tracks on the album.
‘Thrive’ – ‘Thrive’ was the first song Joey (Baca – drums) started writing drums for, and the last song to be finished. This track also saw the most changes structurally before we decided on how we wanted it to flow. I feel this song ended up being one of the most diverse pieces of the record.
‘Primordial Sound’ – We wrote the majority of this song in Robby‘s room. We had been listening to bands like Submotion Orchestra and wanted to capture more of an eerie, bass driven, spaced-out vibe for the verse. This ended up being on of my favorite tracks on the album based on its slightly darker, more consistent feel.
‘Arise’ – The outro of this track features one of my favourite parts on the whole record. The way the drums bounce on and off of the guitar melody makes for an interesting clash. I tried to play off that a bit when it came to writing the vocal melody, which is why part of it follows the drum fill that repeats.
‘Ebb & Flow’ – Cam (Maynard – guitar) wrote ‘Ebb & Flow’ at the earlier stages of the writing process and it was the first song I started tackling vocals for. I decided to take a backseat with a lot of this song due to the nature of the instrumentation. The track has so much melody work in the guitar that it felt better to let it breathe before the vocal-heavy outro.
‘The Parable’ – The last track put together for the album and my personal favourite. Not only does it have my favourite parts but, in my opinion, the best song flow. It also contains a clip from one of our favorite philosophers, Alan Watts. We originally weren’t going to have it at the end but felt it concluded the album too perfectly not to.