Sunday, March 17, 2013
Intronaut : Habitual Levitations
Intronaut now occupies a rather middle of the road position as the shift into prog rock, not unlike other bands which were once considered metal like Mastodon, Opeth , Tool and Neurosis, who are now all hard rock as the climate changes and what it means to be heavy elevates. It's hard to keep up, you'll never win at the who's the heaviest race,Becuase for every Batilus album that comes out something LikeThe Nails is meaner and beats your face with low tones swinging at you with more anger than the first guy . It's kind of like the old say you hear people tell bullies that there's always some one bigger and badder out there than you. So if you are a bully you can take this two different ways you can either go looking for that bigger badder guy under the idea the food chain might end with you or you can give up on that all together and chill out , smoke a joint and read a book. This California band did the latter.
One thing that can be said of thinking in Los Angeles is its easy to get caught up in the hustle and the marketing mentality, so even if you aren't thinking " Hey I'm going to go sell out" you are round so much pitching and sales outruns off like the pitch for this could have been "o.k we are taking the grit tht got Mastodon big and combine with Opeth's mellowed out jams and throw a little Tool in..." sounds like a plan they could play Bonneroo.
The album opens with some mid tempo stacatto what could now be described as post-metal riffing and then wanders into more melodic Toolish territory the vocals remind me of Porcupine tree or Isis' better vocal moments. The bass and drums are more adept than the guitar. Some of the patterns might even appeal to fans of djent though they don't have the slick mall metal sound. The guitar goes into a very Adam Jones sonic solo as the drums are coming around the kit in very Danny Carey rolls. It's not a bad song and would have a cool feel to it'd the influences don't glare of almost plagiarism. The last minute and a half the seem to find their own personality .
"The Welding" rougher edges , gruff ear vocals still sung more along the lines of Mastodon. Has more of an indie math rock feel. I can also here some Helmet mixed in, however this sounds more original than the first song, the hints of say Mastodon are I the back ground melodies in the guitar and the vocal the vocal harmonies are arranged. I Like drift of the melodic jam in the songs middle section, it sounds original. "Steps" they begin to take a darker and heavier turn but it has a blatant Meshuggah feel, melodic vocal redeem it, as I often wish Meshuggah had them as their vocalist bores me . Though when they branch out from this the song loses form. The melodic vocals while tuneful keep a very neutral indie metal midrange , the kind where they are like Justin Broadrick and dont want it to seem like they are trying to hard to sing and float in a lazy haze over the music.
By this point I can appreciate while the guitarist is no shredder he knows his way around his pedal board and is more interested in making soundscapes. On songs like " Sore sight for eyes" the guitars coil around tight Tool like patterns, but neve reach a chug or gallop to convince me this is heavy music. The Meshuggah mimicry are the only heavy moments. When Sore sight goes into the space jams midway and then creconvene for some rocking it soundalike they have found themselves.
"Milk Leg" starts off with the off time flirtation with djent, but keeps the post hardcore second clothing feel.
The bass is pretty impressive on the song and I suppose some listener who aren't prog mind could find it overindulgent at times but regular readers know one of my favorite bands is King Crimson so I have a pretty high threshold for this sort of thing. Saying this song has some heavier points would mean heavier than there normal post rock prog, it's mainly just accents. In the last two two and a half minutes the Tool thing gets a taste of what I think these guys are about and morphs into something their own. The trend on this album is cool parts but not songs.
"Harmonomicon" well...I don't think they are capable of making anything dark enough to wink at the Necronomicon, some take a fleeting issue with that. This is in Jesu like territory with Tool ish accents. I know at the. Heart of any band is a soup of influence you hope comes out tasting like something new, the key is throwing in peanut utter smothered is something that doesn't just blend in with the other ingredients and these guys are pulling for to close of zip codes. This but be the codex for the bland as the song really only invokes sleep, I think if I still smoked pot I might appreciate it more and this album As a whole.
At last a children of the grave type chug comes out, though it could be by way of a more modems source and goes all Tool on us again. The tribal nature of the drums are from the jungles of Los Angeles. The Troy Sandersgruffness of the vocals, we know can be traced to other sources as Mastodon aren't terribly original in and of themselves but have a smart sense of hook that this album tends to lack. I remember hearing more Opeth on my initial listens and hear less of that now a few times through this one. I think on some of the songs where the fat could be trimmed if some of the name that band game wascut out and we took all the parts that sound likethey are being authentically them we might be onto something.
From the first minute of "Blood from a Stone" I think if this kicks in then it means the power ballad is not dead. Bit instead. They just get touchy feely for three minutes , doesn't sound bad but more like a middle section to another song rather than a standalone piece or an intro for the following song but intro it's naut.
"The Way Down" the effects are heavy almost Pink Floyd, which I can respect ripping off Floyd much more than say Mastodon. The attempt to get heavy arises but it's almost like some guy bragging out benching two hundred pounds unless you are twelve it's not much weight...you are into lifting. If you are into metal then this is not that heavy either and boring more often than not. I'll give it a 5.5 there's some great playing but every other riff while not a direct rip off is colored by their influences too closely for me get into it , if you just like great playing and are o.k with middle of the road stuff round it up a point. I don't see the rather bland middle path holding much ground on my ipod despite the few melodies which caught my ear and stellar bass work.