Intronaut
Fluid Existential Inversions


4.0
excellent

Review

by Raul Stanciu STAFF
February 28th, 2020 | 328 replies


Release Date: 02/28/2020 | Tracklist

Review Summary: How to pack the essentials and move on…

Intronaut have continuously raised expectations over the past decade, reaching a new peak with the brilliant The Direction of Last Things. The band clearly improved on every level, becoming a very tight, top tier unit. Plus, Devin Townsend’s crystal clear mixing not only enhanced all their strengths, but also successfully blended the crushing heaviness with the gorgeous melodies and layered vocals. It quickly became one of their best received LPs, but I was convinced the guys wouldn’t stagnate by creating a carbon copy next. Complications arose when drummer Danny Walker was removed from the line-up due to a domestic abuse scandal. It was a heavy blow, since the man was really creative and diversified his style considerably over the years. Nevertheless, the group started rehearsing with Alex Rüdinger (Whitechapel, ex-The Faceless, etc.) to develop their latest full length, Fluid Existential Inversions.

Overall, this (again) excellent collection of songs hits harder than The Direction of Last Things, revisiting older material aesthetics as well. The tunes ended up more compact, yet all go through multiple segments at various tempos. The heavy-soft contrast is present, albeit in a smoother form. Rüdinger is just as impressive as Walker, showcasing busier drumming throughout. The latter managed to balance highly technical patterns with breezier ones. Still, Alex does a wonderful job crafting jaw dropping (double) kick-snare beats. At the same time, the guitars & bass interplay remains just as ingenious and strong between the members. For example, ‘Check Your Misfortune’ boasts a string of the most crushing riffs in the band’s catalog, before falling into engaging jerky rhythms and ultimately, their trademark dreamy chords. Moreover, ‘Contrapasso’ rapidly builds tension through its soaring guitar riffage. The labyrinthine progressions switch constantly between brutal and more melodic sides. As expected, broken grooves and interesting, irregular time signatures can be found all over the record, especially on ‘Pangloss’ and ‘Tripolar’. None of the parts overstay their welcome, as variations or completely different ones usually burst in. There is no shortage of inspiration, it’s clear the band worked tediously on these tracks and it pays off.

Rounding out the release, tunes such as ‘Speaking of Orbs’ or ‘The Cull’ tend considerably to the warmer side of Intronaut’s output. The former is one of the most infectious here, pushing the lovely vocal performance of Dave Timnick and Sasha Dunable to the front. The blissful portions are cut by grittier counterparts, however, everything is carefully and pleasantly arranged. On the other hand, after solid, lower end-oriented grooves, the second half of ‘The Cull’ nicely shares staccato guitar leads, complete with background synthesizer pads, a deep, round bass line, as well as soulful vocals. Critics can complain how familiar this material might sound, yet, the level of details and execution have improved.

In the end, my only "issue" with the album regards the production. Its predecessor was for me one of the best sounding releases of last decade, whereas this latest one is not that fluid. The raucous vocals seem too dry and the bass could have benefit from a brighter tone. I realize the material is heavier and required perhaps a murkier feel, but they lost ground in favor of the guitars. These resemble at times the somewhat clinical Russian Circles’ features (one of the acts that came to mind), where the accent focuses a tad more on the mids. Essentially, Kurt Ballou added his signature touch to a certain extent, the one that works wonders for dozens of post metal/sludge acts. In my opinion, for Intronaut’s wide spectrum of sonic details, meant losing some potential impact. The occasional jazz influences whose characteristics flourished on that crystal clear mix, don’t shine that much here. Despite these minor (maybe) subjective setbacks, Fluid Existential Inversions is very intense and offers high replay value. Don’t miss out on it.




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Comments:Add a Comment 
insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
February 28th 2020


5098 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Not as catchy as Direction, but it's an excellent album.



Stream here -http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=APgWRQki20E

'Cubensis' (video) - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pt1ssDvrvw8

Digging: Paradise Lost - Obsidian

Pikazilla
February 28th 2020


11098 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Nice review!



Although I disagree with this: "Critics can complain how familiar this material might sound, yet, the level of details and execution have improved"



I feel like they are playing it too safe on the new one. I loved Direction and this does feel like a continuation of that sound, albeit toned down several notches.



Glad you enjoyed it though!

Nocte
Contributing Reviewer
February 28th 2020


12510 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

At least we've got somewhere to chat about this now

nightbringer
February 28th 2020


1227 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I'll give this a cautious spin.

parksungjoon
February 28th 2020


19786 Comments


ipod what do you think of this band as a whole

Digging: Nuclear Death - Bride of Insect

Nocte
Contributing Reviewer
February 28th 2020


12510 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

Excellent.casual listening. Other than that... Not a lot

parksungjoon
February 28th 2020


19786 Comments


hmm ive actually never checked em despite my omnipotent boner for postmetal

TalonsOfFire
Staff Reviewer
February 28th 2020


18879 Comments

Album Rating: 3.7

One of the best metal bands of the past decade. This seems like it’ll live up to their others.

Digging: Hayley Williams - Petals For Armor

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
February 28th 2020


5098 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

"I feel like they are playing it too safe on the new one. I loved Direction and this does feel like a continuation of that sound, albeit toned down several notches."



I don't know if it's just safe or just taking their riffs and trying to make them tighter. Either way, I'm curious how soon will it wear off.

DDDeftoneDDD
February 28th 2020


12118 Comments


Cool. A rev! Been meaning to check this band.

Digging: Xibalba - Aos En Infierno

Pikazilla
February 28th 2020


11098 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Start with Prehistoricisms if you got time.

DDDeftoneDDD
February 28th 2020


12118 Comments


not really, lol...If keep taking 3 new things for each one I listen I'll die young...ahah but yeah...band is high rated, there must be something good def..

DDDeftoneDDD
February 28th 2020


12118 Comments


cover art is gorgeous

Pikazilla
February 28th 2020


11098 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Okay, in that case listen to Valley of Smoke, Direction of Last Things and then this.

parksungjoon
February 28th 2020


19786 Comments


"band is high rated, there must be something good def.."

yea just look at between the buried and me... oh wait

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
February 28th 2020


5098 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

They are really consistent, there's no bad record in their discography.

DDDeftoneDDD
February 28th 2020


12118 Comments


"Okay, in that case listen to Valley of Smoke, Direction of Last Things and then this."

ahahaha gud one...think like this, If I do this one first I'll take the best out of it...instead of thinking "oh this is not as good as..."
Its all about the ride X)

Pikazilla
February 28th 2020


11098 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Listen to Above and then tell me if there's one song on here that's anywhere as good, 3D

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
February 28th 2020


8757 Comments


Contrary to the first three, last two albums did little for me, wonder how this sounds.

Digging: Muspellzheimr - Muspellzheimr

Pikazilla
February 28th 2020


11098 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

What didn't you like about the last two? Levitations, especially.



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