Intronaut - Fluid Existential Inversions review




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Reviewer:
8.5

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7.66
Band: Intronaut
Album: Fluid Existential Inversions
Release date: February 2020


01. Procurement Of The Victuals
02. Cubensis
03. The Cull
04. Contrapasso
05. Speaking Of Orbs
06. Tripolar
07. Check Your Misfortune
08. Pangloss
09. Sour Everythings


Five years and one drummer change later, Intronaut have followed up the tour de force that was The Direction Of Last Things, and despite the turbulence they've had to navigate in the intervening years, they remain every bit the powerhouse they previously were.

As much as Danny Walker's departure from Intronaut was necessary, it left the band without an important piece of their complex sonic jigsaw, with Walker's drumming style fitting seamlessly with the gnarly, twisting compositions the band consistently delivered with aplomb. Perhaps the band felt they had a point to prove about their relevance post-Walker, as first full song and lead single from Fluid Existential Inversions "Cubensis" offers a dazzling display by session drummer Alex Rüdinger; the percussion on this track is very much from the Brann Dailor "there's no bad time for a drum fill" school of thought. The rest of this song closely follows the prog/post-/sludge template developed on the band's previous efforts, with constant transitions, convoluted guitar work, and contrast between serene softer melodic sections and more jagged, sludgy riffing.

The following track on the record, "The Cull", is a more aggressive beast than "Cubensis", opening with dirty low-end guitars and rougher barked vocals, contrasting the semi-melodic/semi-shouted vocal approach on much of the previous track. This song also has more prominent (if still restrained) use of synths, oscillating in volume during a stretch early on in the song to add a further dynamic element to the cacophony already generated by the rest of the band, most notably the jazzy drum onslaught. In contrast to the thunderous intro, "The Cull" eventually transitions into a gentle second half, never threatening to unleash the aggression again as it glides through serene synth soundscapes with gentle guitar work. Within these first two songs alone, Intronaut display a wide range of approaches and array of skills without sounding forced or 'showy'.

After that point, there is no real let-up in quality throughout this wide-ranging, expansive album. "Contrapasso", with it's V-like structure, bookended by punchy riffs but gradually working its way down to nothing more than ambient synths by the midway point before building back up, acts as a consummate display of the different melodic approaches Intronaut can take. The band also does a good job of arranging the tracklist to maximize variety, which can be tricky when the songs themselves are so sprawling; the measured, more trudging nature of "Tripolar" allows the frenetic lead guitar work opening "Check Your Misfortune" to firmly grab the listener's attention. There is very little in the way of wasted runtime on Fluid Existential Inversions; rounding off proceedings, "Sour Everythings", perhaps the softest song on the record, makes for an excellent closer, with its bouncing grooves, measured development and progressively convoluting guitar work. This song (along with "The Cull") also features Ben Sharp of Cloudkicker fame guesting on guitar, continuing his collaboration with the band that served as the live backing band of Cloudkicker.

There's a lot to digest on Fluid Existential Inversions; mercifully, the production and mix, respectively delivered by longtime collaborator Josh Newell and Kurt Ballou of Converge, allows each instrument to shine in the maelstrom of sound regularly unleashed by Intronaut. Although I'll need more time to see how this new record stands up against the likes of Habitual Levitations and The Direction Of Last Things, there's no doubt that it serves as a strong addition to an increasingly impressive catalogue.


Rating breakdown
Performance: 9
Songwriting: 9
Originality: 8
Production: 9


 



Written on 02.03.2020 by Hey chief let's talk why not

Guest review by
yoless2
Rating:
8.5
Certain music records mark our musical experiences, and it's always quite a thrilling experience since it can stigmatize us forever, open new worlds for us, or simply leave us with a satisfying feeling of discovering a fantastic masterpiece. Having said that, this is my case; I humbly came to talk about this masterpiece called Fluid Existential Inversions, from the progressive metal band Intronaut. Intronaut is a band that combines the heaviness of several metal genres, such as stoner metal, post-metal, and sludge, with the complex polyrhythms of progressive metal and jazz, to transition to smooth psychedelic sections in which the bass guitar plays a key role, leading us to strange, viscous, and liquid worlds full of crazy symmetric patterns. They've been playing around with this interesting formula through their albums, experimenting around and adding different nuances.

Read more ››
published 26.03.2021 | Comments (2)


Comments

Comments: 10   Visited by: 101 users
03.03.2020 - 15:18
MetalManic

I rarely read a review of band's I'm familiar with before listening to the album. It felt like a safe decision to do so with Intronaut as their product(s) tend to be set at a familiar high standard.

Looking forward to this.
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MetalManic
www.MetalManic.com
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03.03.2020 - 16:28
jblanco

I need to listen to this album more times, but while it has everything that makes Intronaut amazing on it, it felt a little bit formulaic. A lot of the songs on the record follow the same structure, which isn't inherently bad but I hope they don't get stuck on that. Great review.
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03.03.2020 - 18:41
musclassia

Written by jblanco on 03.03.2020 at 16:28

I need to listen to this album more times, but while it has everything that makes Intronaut amazing on it, it felt a little bit formulaic. A lot of the songs on the record follow the same structure, which isn't inherently bad but I hope they don't get stuck on that. Great review.


I agree that this doesn't feel like they're necessarily pushing any boundaries for themselves compared to on the previous couple of releases - all the components they've had in place for a while have generally just been shuffled in order for each different song. For now I think it's more than good enough to just hear more of what is a great sound, but I would like to see them try something a bit different next time around
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04.03.2020 - 18:27
yahkob

"SPeaking of orbs" is like the doom metal version of F-zero 64 music
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06.03.2020 - 14:52
JayMo4

I'm a huge, huge fan of this band and so I expect to enjoy their material more than most. But this is the second album in a row where I've found myself wondering how it isn't running away with album of the year (and this is coming from a Dark Fortress fan.)

Taste is subjective. But that combination of heavy and mellow, complex and simple, technical and catchy, abrasive and inviting is something that this band does uniquely well. They're stoner metal without sounding like other stoner bands, prog without sounding like prog, even djent without sounding anything like other djent groups. Intronaut fills a niche that no one else is filling. They're even dipping their toes in death metal on this one, with some of their heaviest riffing and a bit of harsh vocals for the first time.

I can't believe they've executed at this level even as they've had to replace a great drummer in a band whose foundation is in its rhythms. Honestly, I'm blown away.
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07.03.2020 - 00:42
Ace Frawley
The Spaceman
Written by JayMo4 on 06.03.2020 at 14:52

I'm a huge, huge fan of this band and so I expect to enjoy their material more than most. But this is the second album in a row where I've found myself wondering how it isn't running away with album of the year (and this is coming from a Dark Fortress fan.)

Taste is subjective. But that combination of heavy and mellow, complex and simple, technical and catchy, abrasive and inviting is something that this band does uniquely well. They're stoner metal without sounding like other stoner bands, prog without sounding like prog, even djent without sounding anything like other djent groups. Intronaut fills a niche that no one else is filling. They're even dipping their toes in death metal on this one, with some of their heaviest riffing and a bit of harsh vocals for the first time.

I can't believe they've executed at this level even as they've had to replace a great drummer in a band whose foundation is in its rhythms. Honestly, I'm blown away.


I agree with you, this is really good stuff. I absolutely loved their last album, which was my introduction to this band. I was worried the loss of Danny Walker could mean the end of my enjoyment of this band, as his rhythms were a huge part of my love of the last album. But wow, what a great move getting Rudinger on drums and this album just keeps getting better with each listen. There really isn't any other band out there like Intronaut.
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The sun shines over The Fool...
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07.03.2020 - 07:00
Cynic Metalhead
Nasha Vich Paisa
Written by JayMo4 on 06.03.2020 at 14:52

I'm a huge, huge fan of this band...


Right, but didn't click with me. Halfway through, I need to pull myself out from extreme ennui.
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07.03.2020 - 16:04
Troy Killjoy
perfunctionist
Had no idea this was even released. Great review. I look forward to listening to it tonight in hopes my feelings are as positive about it as yours. They haven't disappointed me yet.
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"Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools because they have to say something."
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07.03.2020 - 17:49
musclassia

Written by Troy Killjoy on 07.03.2020 at 16:04

Had no idea this was even released. Great review. I look forward to listening to it tonight in hopes my feelings are as positive about it as yours. They haven't disappointed me yet.


I would expect if you've liked them a lot in the past this should be similarly enjoyable, although I've heard a couple of friends weren't as hot on it, at least initially. It could be a bit hookier but generally delivers what Intronaut normally does so well
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08.04.2021 - 20:51
Gikhar Wizard

Written by JayMo4 on 06.03.2020 at 14:52

that combination of heavy and mellow, complex and simple, technical and catchy, abrasive and inviting is something that this band does uniquely well.

also Gojira
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In My Opinion Your Opinion is Invalid
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