Release Date: Mar 19, 2013
Record label: Century Media
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Heavy Metal
Building upon 2010’s Valley of Smoke, Intronaut continue to own the prog-metal netherworld between the jazzy acrobatics of Cynic and the doomier textures of Baroness. Near-constant meter and rhythm shifts are an integral part of their new, fourth album, whether Intronaut are sawing and screaming or engaging in delicate arpeggios and melodic vocal harmonies. And while there are motifs that bind the songs together—the tinny guitar stabs and pulsing counter beat of “The Welding,” the sporadic throbbing thud of “Milk Leg”—the band’s primary objective is to lift listeners off their feet and keep them floating, with only occasional handholds for stability.
Los Angeles, CA-based progressive metal scientists Intronaut are known for their complex songwriting, heavy jazz influence and eclectic tones often filtered through the smoky light of stoner rock and psychedelia. Their wordiest release to date, fourth full-length Habitual Levitations (Instilling Words With Tones) is also their chilliest, in terms of tone and intensity while also featuring some of their most intricate arrangements. There are almost no harsh vocals on the record; instead, Sacha Dunable and Dave Timnick demonstrate their range and tone with soaring cleans and vocal harmonies.
Review Summary: One major stepping stone, to say the least.The most frustrating thing about great music is that it just takes one odd ingredient for the experience to go awry. Take Grimes’ latest release-- the album was retro but modern in nature, and was very musically exciting, but Claire Boucher’s voice just didn’t do it for me. And because of that one element of Grimes’ music, it was damned near impossible to truly appreciate the album as a whole.
Longtime fans of experimental Los Angeles prog-metallers Intronaut will immediately notice a downshift on Habitual Leviathans. Gone are any death metal trappings from their previous material, and in their place a more understated, developed sound that repeatedly builds and burns. Eight-minute opener “Killing Birds With Stones” sets the album on its polyrhythmic path, combining riffs full of twists and turns with scene-revered drummer Danny Walker’s knack for gargantuan fills.