Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Intronaut - The Direction of Last Things (2015)

I should really stop judging a band of its album covers and genre description, it keeps me from finding awesome bands. Intronaut is labeled as a post-metal sludge band, which might be true (I have low knowledge of these sub genres), but I was a little skeptic in giving them a fair chance. It was not after I decided to read a few reviews of the album that made me take them into consideration of hearing their new release. Parables with bands such as Between The Buried And Me, Mastodon, and Tool? Sounds great, give it to me now!

"The Direction of Last Things" is album number five by the Los Angeles lads, making them quite experienced by now, which I think is reflected good in the music. The compositions fits well together and the instrumentation is nice and technical, although I am a bit annoyed over the fact that it sound so similar to Between The Buried And Me. It is close to ridiculous at times, especially in the beginning of the album.

So where do we find the Mastodon and Tool in this record? If we start with Mastodon, Intronaut does manage to create a fantastic groovy song in "The Pleasant Surprise", the shortest song on the album with its 4 minutes of play time. It is a spaced out sound that is much like the one we heard in "Crack The Skye", and while the song may not fully match up to that amazing album, it is still a great tune that gets your body rocking. But when it comes to the similarities with Tool, I cannot really find any obvious ones. The album is progressive, and has some psychedelic parts in it, but I do not hear any Tool in the music at all. Instead, I would put Scale The Summit as the third band influence because it has several organic instrumental parts. Still, not too bad to be compared with such fine acts.

But let us look past the comparisons and instead focus on the important part, which is how good the music sounds in one's ears. I am definitely enjoying myself when listening to "The Direction of Last Things", it has a soft and cool approach, but still manages to create some organized chaos within it. It is well crafted on more or less every level, from the crisp production to the logical song lengths. It also shows a lot of different layers and influences of genres. From jazz and prog, to more groovier sounds. It is a complete package.

One thing I would have liked the band to do though is to give the songs more legs to stand on their own, because they all seem to depend on each other. Take one random track out, and it will not seem so tough anymore. I also feel like this album demands a lot from its listener, even if it is not overly long (46 minutes), nor have any songs that reaches past the 10 minute mark. It is great that the band has managed to cram so much into so little space, but the high density of the music can be tough on the mind sometimes.

I am glad that I finally gave Intronaut a fair chance, because I thoroughly enjoyed "The Direction of Last Things" as a whole experience. Sure, it is hard to ignore that some of the music is almost copied from other established acts, but in this day and age, it is hard to make a new album and not be compared to another band, because there are so many out there. Intronaut has certainly created a beautiful album that has a lot of depth in it that no one should miss out on. I know I almost did, and I am relieved that I got to hear it.

Songs worthy of recognition: The Pleasant Surprise, Digital Gerrymandering, Sul Ponticello

Rating: 7,5/10 Fast Worms

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