2006 Goodfellow Records
1. A Monolithic Vulgarity
3. Fault Lines MP3
4. Nostalgic Echo
7. Rise to Midden
How far the City of Angels has come. Sure, her public transportation still ranks up there with that of other sprawling metropolises such as Boise and Duluth and nearly every fast food joint employee has a head shot. Yet LA's metal scene has seen some serious sea change shifts since the early 80s Motley-mauled glam glory hole days. In walks the mighty Intronaut to prove just what LA-bred metal can sound like in 2006.
If you haven't been keeping score, Intronaut released a demo last year that was quickly snatched up and reissued by the magnanimous folks at Goodfellow Records. Along with Cursed II, the Null EP was among the most impressively devastating records that label released. With their ken for erecting massive songs bulging with conflicting parts and jarring time signatures, Intronaut demonstrated a style so wrought with precision and upper tier musicianship that it was astounding this was their debut.
Intronaut continue what they began so effortlessly on Null with Void. Each of the album's seven sprawling songs heaves with massive metal riffs, busy bass and dexterous drumming. Leon Del Muerte (of Exhumed and Impaled) and Sacha Dunable (from Anubis Rising) toss off constantly dueling guitar lines, while Danny Walker (of Uphill battle) lends a marksmen precision to percussion. Joe Lester (alumnus of UC Santa Cruz' music department) spins dizzying webs of bass lines that coat the music in his peculiar tones.
It's a daunting affair. 43 minutes and 17 seconds of screwing with time signatures and weaving quiet, jazz-inflected passages into the pounding, varied metal maelstrom. Some would perhaps pejoratively label it "tech" or "math." But Intronaut doesn't sound like popular monikers associated with such terms, certainly not as spastic and unhinged as Dillinger Escape Plan and not derivative of metal-cum-jazz manglers Cynic or Atheist. Intronaut go more for the groove, injecting a palpable sense of soul into their sound. Witness "Teledildonics," where a crazed, hook-laden off-time riff backed by ripping drums and fierce shouting glides seamlessly into a serene, clean-guitared jazzy passage. It rages a bit, goes through a mean, dark, bass-led section, which becomes something of a King Crimson-esque episode. Then the chaos ensues with Meshuggah chugs and further all around aural assaults. Somewhere around seven minutes it crashes to an end.
The music of "A Monolithic Vulgarity" is as mammoth as its title. A minute of feedback, swelling drums and introductory guitar notes fall into the onslaught of the song. Dual riffs spiral over the dizzying drumming. The vocals come on like a blend of Scott Von Till and Mike Olender (Burnt By the Sun/Endeavor). After many twists and turns, we end up at a serene part: an off-time melodic minor-chord section where the term "jazz" could once again be haphazardly applied (though really, this is not Ornette Coleman or John Coltrane, people). The guitars swirl with the nimble bass plucking. It sounds like Lester mans a serious fretless bass, maybe an acoustic or a stand-up. Whatever he plays, the tone is unique and refreshing and compliments his playing well.
This is cerebral music. It operates on a whole nother level that neither you nor I reside upon. Call it Intelligent Mosh Music. Because as high-brow as Intronaut may think themselves to be, you can still kick the shit out of the dude next to you during their musical workouts. That shouldn't belittle their skill. They play music that is grand in scope and epic in execution. And while that can be a lot to swallow in one sitting, sometimes what's best isn't easiest to digest as quickly as a Twinkie down the gullet. Intronaut could be our hope for this oft-cited NWOAHM.
Bottom Line: We need more metal like Intronaut. We need more anything like Intronaut. They defy convention and challenge themselves and their audience. If nothing else, they'll be the perennial musician's musicians.