Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Intronaut - Habitual Levitations (2013)
Intronaut are a band that have always gone beyond mere imitation of their influences and have carved their own musical path. Each album in their discography is a unique, innovative experience and the band's latest release is no exception. Deciding to forgo harsh vocals altogether, Intronaut have crafted what is probably their lightest, most experimental album to date with influences ranging from metal, prog rock, and even jazz. I use the term "experimental" here very loosely since this album doesn't really mark a total transformation of the band a la Ulver, but rather a conscious decision to veer off into new territory while still retaining a good deal of their original sound. In that sense, one can compare this stylistic shift to the most recent albums by Mastodon and Baroness in terms of a greater focus on harmony and songwriting. In fact, with Intronaut's newish sound it's easier to see just how skilled the members of the band are. The vocal harmonies are some of the best I've heard from the band (especially on "Harmonomicon"). The drumming is fabulous as usual. The riffs are great and the fretless bass work is a stroke of brilliance. This album has given me even more respect for this phenomenal band, and I am eager to see what direction they take in the future.

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