Intronaut - Habitual Levitations (Instilling Words With Tones) review
|Album:||Habitual Levitations (Instilling Words With Tones)|
|Release date:||March 2013|
01. Killing Birds With Stones
02. The Welding
04. A Sore Sight For Eyes
05. Milk Leg
08. Blood From A Stone
09. The Way Down
It's moments like these that give you a new perception of where progressive metal is headed nowadays; when you pause and think to yourself "Why the hell is there jazz fusion in my sludge?" In all likelihood that will be one of the many head scratchers Intronaut's Habitual Levitations (Instilling Words With Tones) will get out of its listeners as it posits itself in a wonderfully vague no-man's land between post and progressive metal and an overtly technical Cynicism.
Its most noticeable feature is the irregular rhythmic patterns which are constructed in such a meticulous and formative way that it can be demanding on those not accustomed to a more technically rendered sound. There is tendency for discordant strings in preference over the more sporadic presence of melodically accessible hooks. The rather unique attempt to merge post metal, which draws from the sludge laden waters of Isis or The Ocean, and a progressive metal like that of Tool fused with jazz embracing and multifaceted rhythms is as ambitious as it sounds.
Paradoxically the album sounds mechanical yet natural; the unusual aftertaste of a mixed concoction of technicalities and a stoner vibe. The song writing here is carefully composed to say the least, the intricate intertwining of layers which at their most well defined fall into place to produce moments of clarity in what is a hazy quality overall. Much of this haziness stems from the attempt to fit the technical precision of the guitars and sludge slinging bass to a foundation of post metal and the contrast can seem disproportionate within the mix at times. Tracks like "Milk Leg", which opens in a Mastodon-like chug with the clean vocals of Sacha Dunable, eventually seem to float by and once reaching their end point will have very subtly left their impression of post metal riffs upon you. Yet they never forget to subject you to pockets of a denser nature, such as the stoner edged "The Welding" with its brilliant use of riffs that often sound as if they might be emitted from a machinery yard, albeit one where the mechanics have a keen and eclectic sense of rhythm.
The transition between passages which place varied emphases on the primary components of sludge or post metal can be staggering and at times not entirely easy to follow. With the technical drive clearly being at the centre of Intronaut's focus the compositional structure isn't always cohesive to the ear; close attention is often required in order to follow its multi-layered and occasionally discordant nature as the elements don't quite match up as well or with as much clarity to aid recollection. The taught songwriting can have a spellbinding effect on the one hand in tracks like "Harmonomicon", which is one of the more jazzy numbers of the album, and on the other hand some cuts seem to fizzle or fade at various points such as "Steps" which initiates its tread heavily yet is more of a tip-toe relinquishing of post metal riffs by its end.
Having such tight control over their complex approach to songwriting often requires active engagement on the listener's part as you can lose sight of the intricacies at play and there is the potential to become lost amongst the transitions. This is the result of merging such varied elements into the one sound which will likely prove demanding of your initial listening experience, and likely more to follow, yet no doubt rewarding.
||Written on 18.03.2013 by R'Vannith enjoys music, he's hoping you do too.|
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