"Prehistoricisms" (Century Media; 2008)

Reviewed by Mike SOS

The confounding metallic attack of Bay Area squad Intronaut continues with "Prehistoricisms," a brazen eight-track affair whose dense subject matter and dizzying musical output pushes the envelope past the point of no return.

Despite losing guitarist Leon Del Muerte (the man mainly responsible for the unit's grind and death side), this troupe enlisted another guitarist (David Timmick), adding a bevy of stylistic tricks to their avant garde extreme metal approach. While guitars on cuts "Cavernous Den of Shame" still manage to bash your skull in, Del Muerte's absence is definitely apparent and truly marks a discernible shift for the group. The percussive work of Danny Walker proves once again to be a mighty force (be sure to check out the near two-minute drum solo on "Any Port") that will have all skin bashers running to their kit to brush up on chops. But the true MVP of this endeavor is bassist Joe Lester, whose sinewy bass lines, sweeping fills, and massive four-stringed solo assaults practically lead each song from attack mode into strange and wondrous soundscapes that morph and twist the sonic batterings of metal into shards of progressive jazz fusion.

Fear not though, Intronaut remains a hulking beast of a band that rivals Gojira and Meshuggah in terms of unabashed heaviness, only now their multi-faceted display is sharper and more adventurous, yielding an exhilarating listening experience through and through.

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"Void" (Goodfellow; 2006)

Reviewed by Mike SOS

Savagely heavy yet dexterously fluid, Intronaut picks up right where their masterful EP "Null" left off with "Void," its 43-minute counterpart. This seven-track gem rolls out all of the heavy artillery and abstract outlooks it can muster without confounding but rather inviting the listener along for the ride, creating a stunningly brutal batch of Hessian excellence that shares common bonds with bands like Mastodon and Isis. 

Yet, thanks to virtuoso bassist Joe Lester, whose enormous four-stringed presence provides the cornerstone for the calculated madness to ensue, there's a much more organic feeling that propels this Los Angeles quartet's unique musical visions and ridiculously stellar musicianship than their counterparts reveal. 

Devastating echoes of distortion and massive walls of feedback wash away into seismically-charged bombastic riffs and monolithic rhythms thrust upon your ears by a massive attack of guitars, bass, and drums, all under a prog rock harvest moon which yields richness like the pummeling "Gleamer" and the dizzyingly caustic "Iceblocks."

Boasting a veritable lineup of top notch metal musicians, displaying a compressed yet intensified assault that hits hard, smart and brazen with world class compositions bursting forth with a distressingly aggressive edge, "Void" is an epic release demonstrating how one of the finest up and coming units from the current crop of thinking man's metal perfects the craft of making timelessly important music. 

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright 2009 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 01 Apr 2024 12:16:14 -0500 .