Tuesday 10 March 2020

ALBUM REVIEW: Intronaut, “Fluid Existential Inversions"

By: Chris Markwell

Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 28/02/2020
Label: Metal Blade Records

“Fluid Existential Inversions” CD//DD//LP track listing:

1). Procurement of the Victuals
2). Cubensis
3). The Cull
4). Contrapasso
5). Speaking of Orbs
6). Tripolar
7). Check Your Misfortune
8). Pangloss
9). Sour Everythings

The Review:

Los Angeles, California.  The sun-drenched metropolis of celebrities, dream chasers… and avant-garde progressive metal, the likes of which we had never before experienced? 

Hello, Intronaut.  Welcome back to our world.  We’ve missed you. 

After a near five-year wait, the American three-piece have followed up 2015’s “The Direction of Last Things” with “Fluid Existential Inversions”, released on February 28th 2020 by Metal Blade.  It’s hot off the press, and liable to scorch your fingers if you hold onto it for too long: best to put it on your turntable and give it a spin, instead. 

(Note: Sludgelord and its affiliate lesser dukes and archons will not be held accountable for any scorched fingers, record players, speakers, or eardrums that may occur when listening to Intronaut’sFluid Existential Inversions”)

Intronaut construct with sound in the same way an engineer constructs vast building projects.  The only limit is their imagination and, in Intronaut’s case, they have an endless supply of that.  Their sound can range from the delicate plucking of an acoustic guitar string, all the way to pinched harmonics and pummelling djent polyrhythms, and it all fits together.  It’s as though Sacha Dunable, Dave Timnick and Joe Lester have found a way to build a sound that incorporates jazz, prog, metal, djent, and classical, yet still seems both invigorating to the listener, and also free-flowing in its composition. 

What I’m talking about is craftsmanship.  It’s obvious from the get-go that this trio of individuals know their art intimately.  Songs like ‘The Cull’, ‘Pangloss’, and ‘Speaking of Orbs’ all have this foundation of crushing metal, upon which walls of prog are raised, with windows of jazz allowing the light of post-metal through into the room that has been created.  The album is a continuing evolution for Intronaut, a pushing forward of boundaries and expression that really does create some truly unexpected and genuinely emotive moments. 

Could I describe Intronaut’s new album in one word?  Probably.  But I don’t want to.  “Fluid Existential Inversions” is nine tracks that will instil in you, the listener, a response I will never experience, and vice versa.  Each listening brings a new riff, a new sound bite, a fresh lyric, that changes a song’s meaning instantly.  It has the ability to feel like one genre one moment, then switch to an entirely different genre the next.  Intronaut have built a mighty musical edifice, a place down whose hallowed halls we must definitely tread. 

“Fluid Existential Inversions” is available HERE

Band info: bandcamp || facebook