Contorsion – The Children of the Snake (Self-Released)

Monday, 11th September 2023
Rating: 7.5 / 10

Contorsion is a Swiss act with plenty of history – forming in 2004, they’ve released a demo, three full-lengths, and an EP prior to this latest six-song EP outing The Children of the Snake. Latest recruit Ralf Luz joined on bass in 2020, although as a whole the quintet has been very steady together throughout the majority of the band’s discography. The name of the game genre-wise flies right in the thrash category – possessing a bit of traditional, power, and crossover aspects when necessary to diversify the proceedings, but very familiar to those who love a lot of the older Bay Area-oriented bands with a little European finesse.

Wasting no time getting into the energetic title cut opener, listeners will enjoy the speedy, precise riffing, turn on a dime groove-oriented transition, plus killer drumming that features numerous double kick / fill intricacies. The subject matter of a nightmare involving children led by a snake to ruin your dreams fits the snarly, venomous vocal delivery from Marc Torretti as well. Beyond serious subjects, these gentlemen also inject some humor and good times into specific tracks such as “Son of a Bitch” and closer “Thrash 4 Life” – the former musically a bit of a mid-tempo stomper, warning the listener that you may ‘kiss my fist’ with a very frantic lead break similar to Hammett-led Metallica, while the latter contains the right circular melodies/runs to rally the troops before mowing down the competition through its tenacious high voltage speedy parts. The guitar tandem of Simon Freiburghaus and Jon Schnider lay down a solid rhythm template to build upon through flashy lead breaks or dazzling melodic transitions – check out the counterpoint, ‘can you top this’ chops during highlight “Liar” that is similar to what you’d expect from Heathen, Testament, or Exodus.

Contorsion has plenty of experience at the art of thrash considering their start in the early 2000’s. The Children of the Snake is a tidy EP that showcases the diversity on hand even in six songs, and should appease most who love the tight, clean thrash of old even with a rough around the edges vocalist at the helm.

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