EP Review: Contorsion - The Children Of The Snake
Reviewed by Lana Teramae
Formed in 2004, Swiss thrash metal band Contorsion will release their second EP titled ‘The Children of the Snake’ on September 15, 2023. The band entered the music scene in 2010 with their debut studio album titled ‘Solace Through Lies.’ Following a lineup change, Contorsion followed up their debut with their second full-length album, ‘Planet Parasite’ in 2014. Their third studio album titled ‘U.Z.N.’ (2017) became the band’s most innovative and diverse record at the time. After releasing an EP titled ‘Thrash Metal Domination’ in 2019, Contorsion were at crossroads due to the COVID-19 pandemic. After another lineup change, the band began working on their second EP, which was ‘The Children of the Snake.’
The lineup that plays on the EP includes Marc Torretti on lead vocals, Mättu Eschmann on drums, Ralf Luz on bass guitar, and Sime Freiburghaus and Jon Schnider on guitars. According to the press release, ‘The Children of the Snake’ marks an evolution in the band’s songwriting, taking on new territories that they never covered before.
This EP is loud, rambunctious, fun, rebellious, and pure modern thrash metal (with some old-school influences thrown in). It’s the perfect record to blast in the car with drinking buddies and have a good time. Soundwise, all of the tracks are enjoyable, but the opening and title track is the best one overall. It’s got a memorable hook and such tasteful guitar playing. Other highlights include “Ghost of Death” and “Liar,” both capturing the same energy and free-spirit of the previously mentioned track. Halfway through the EP, however, the quality dies down, lyric-wise. Songs like “Son of a B*tch” and “Human Cancer” are tongue-in-cheek, humorous, and not meant to be taken seriously. As a result, the lyrics are immature and sound no different than what an inexperienced 14-year-old would come up with.
‘The Children of the Snake’ closes with “Thrash 4 Life,” which is a silly song, but it has an anthemic feel to it that represents hope and togetherness. It perfectly sums up the tight bond within the heavy metal community. Is the chorus a bit repetitive? Yeah, it is, but it’s a cool song.
Moving onto the musicianship, Torretti’s vocals rely on a mix of screaming and spoken vocals. There’s no melody whatsoever. Instead, he relies on attitude and it clearly shows throughout the EP. As mentioned before, the guitar playing is excellent. There are some tasteful riffs on this EP, which are amplified by such heavy distortion. Eschmann is an absolute beast on the drums, not struggling at all to keep up with the insane tempo changes.
While the band sounds locked in with each other, a small complaint would be the soft bass lines. The bass guitar is lowered in the mix and overshadowed by the massive drumming and wicked guitar playing. The bass lines are there, but they’re not loud enough, which is weird to say, considering how loud the EP is already.
Despite its flaws, ‘The Children of the Snake’ is an enjoyable EP, drunk or not.