The soft moments on Intrinsic were amazing, especially the middle of Feedback Loop leading up to the marimba section. But yeah Exoplanet was terrible imo and Language was awesome.
I love all 3 of The Contortionists stuff, but I do agree each album has been better than the last. I don't know why Exoplanet gets a lot of hate, there are some KILLER moments on that album. It's just brutal the whole way through. Great exercise album. Flourish and Contact (that breakdown, tho....) are the two strongest songs off that record in my opinion.
And my most controversial; Trivium. Sans for their latest, I think they've put out some rather nice music in recent times. They only started getting really good around their 3rd album. Shogun is an absolute masterpiece, and the following two are pretty decent as well.
Anyone that thinks The New Black and Alien and SYL are better than City deserves all the hate they get!