Intronaut
Fluid Existential Inversions


3.0
good

Review

by MiloRuggles CONTRIBUTOR (20 Reviews)
March 15th, 2020 | 37 replies


Release Date: 02/28/2020 | Tracklist

Review Summary: M4M JOI ASMR

Technicality vs. emotion. Music theory masturbation vs. songwriting. Polyamorous sodomy vs. monogamous missionary. These are all subjects which the internet at large has flogged so hard that even my indomitable sadomasochism in the face of high quality discussion-bait has fallen to the wayside. Then Intronaut release Fluid Existential Inversions, marking the first time that they've ever sounded like a band that have pigeonholed themselves into being representative of /r/progressivemetal's not-so-discerning taste in sterile wankery, and I just can't fucking help myself. So here we are.

Intronaut's slow crawl out from the primordial ooze which birthed them has been a wildly entertaining evolution to follow. Void and Prehistoricisms saw the band on some technical reptile brain shit that sent me down a rabbit hole of hanging out in swamps and eating frogs until my parents found me and put me on a steady diet of Eagles LPs until I was once again placid and chronically depressed. By the time I was allowed my own PC again, Intronaut had released my favourite one-two punch of their career. Valley of Smoke was ridiculous in its ambition, yet its execution was so singular and effective that it couldn't be denied. This was followed by Habitual Levitations, Intronaut's most interesting experiment. Behind the much-discussed lack of neolithic yelps and screams, the record contains the most effective clean vocals Intronaut have ever utilised, and what I consider to be the most well-rounded compositional work of their career thus far. The Devin Townsend of Last Things felt like the biggest cash grab of the bunch, and a wee bit too complacent for my liking, but the production delights like a well-orchestrated tickle of the taint, and every song is fuckable. It was another satisfactory chapter in a ridiculously consistent career, especially when compared with their less dependable progressive sludge contemporaries.

Some of the more perceptive reviewers within the industry have fallen back on a classic statement to summarize this new release of Intronaut's, stating that Fluid Existential Inversions is like a mixture of everything that came before it with a little bit of new stuff mixed in. Well, yeah, I suppose that's kinda where this album sits, but the little bit of new stuff in this case is choppier songwriting, production that has buried Joe Lester's iconic bass playing and unearthed the dodgy vocals, an increase in progressive tendencies at the cost of cohesion, a lyrical journey which genuinely peaks at the phrase “this simulation sucks,” and a drummer who is undoubtedly a better person than that last vile cunt whose experimentation with adding loved ones into his polyrhythms saw him rightfully dismissed, but is also a far less tasteful player. Rudinger's tech death drumming tendencies and Intronaut's proclivity for mellow jazz excursions clash somewhat. In this light, dynamics are squandered not just through production, but performance, with many of the album's more nuanced and clean sections demanding more subtle beats than the ones provided.

That being said, Alex Rudinger is an insane drummer and he puts in a hell of a good innings throughout this album. Cubensis' winding bridge showcases some wild tom-foolery, nudging the composition forward in a way that feels vital, urgent, and natural, and he has no trouble in finding the groove during the band's mathy, heavy riffing. Perhaps he just needs some more time to master the wide-ranging skillset that this oft-imitated, never-replicated band demand. It doesn't help that the drum sound in general suffers from progmetalitis- a disease characterised by stripping a drumkit of all of its natural presence and replacing it with a sterile, cinematic recreation of what a drumkit almost sounds like, with this particular strain of the disease bearing a kick that sounds like a wet cloth being slapped.

The vitriol above comes from a frustration with Fluid Existential Inversions that is made all the more pertinent by the record's more notable qualities. Everything that makes Intronaut a great band is still present in some way or another. The guitar tones are better than they've ever been, there are some mind-blowing sections of musicianship that display a level of synergy that will paint smiles on even the most stubborn of fans, and you can never quite predict where a song is going to go next (although if you guess jazzy breakdown and/or polyrhythmic fuckery your odds are pretty good). Unfortunately, as good as Fluid Existential Inversions is, it's also pretty safely the last album I'd recommend to anybody looking to get into Intronaut.




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3.6
great
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Comments:Add a Comment 
MiloRuggles
Contributing Reviewer
March 15th 2020


728 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Not that happy with this review, felt bad slagging these guys off. Here it is anyway, cause I love yiz

parksungjoon
March 15th 2020


21531 Comments


oh god that summary

reading now

parksungjoon
March 15th 2020


21531 Comments


brilliant lol

parksungjoon
March 15th 2020


21531 Comments


so anyone who listens to modern prog metal, is that really where the crappy drum sound came from? i always thought it was more a tech death and sumeriancore thing

Nocte
Contributing Reviewer
March 15th 2020


12766 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

If the first half of that first paragraph flowed a bit better I'd love this I think. Although I can't really back that train of thought up at this time (I could very well be talking succinctly out of ones arse) as I'm on the last glass of some very nice fourteen year old port.



That being said I also agree profoundly closer to the rating review of a 3.0.

parksungjoon
March 15th 2020


21531 Comments


when is milo gonna be the default review for something [123]

MO
March 15th 2020


22962 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

"and a drummer who is undoubtedly a better person than that last vile cunt whose experimentation with adding loved ones into his polyrhythms saw him rightfully dismissed"



nice cheap shot, nothing was proven about that

SitarHero
Contributing Reviewer
March 15th 2020


12054 Comments


Pos.

parksungjoon
March 15th 2020


21531 Comments


feature this cowards

MiloRuggles
Contributing Reviewer
March 15th 2020


728 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Park, I dunno about proof prog metal being the genesis of the fake drum sound, but the genre's a serious offender for sure. Also, I'd rather have a better review featured haha



Nocte, I agree and might do something about that later, and port is a fucking good choice.



MO, the band seemed convinced but I'll happily concede that it's a cheap shot done without research.



Sitar tyty

parksungjoon
March 15th 2020


21531 Comments


u should have every review featured forever

milo for staff 2020

MiloRuggles
Contributing Reviewer
March 15th 2020


728 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I'm telling you, those sputnik staff big bucks are all I have left

parksungjoon
March 15th 2020


21531 Comments


ur my big buck

SitarHero
Contributing Reviewer
March 16th 2020


12054 Comments


"nice cheap shot, nothing was proven about that"
Maybe, but you have to admit that it was a poetically beautiful cheap shot.

SitarHero
Contributing Reviewer
March 16th 2020


12054 Comments


Also, while this review certainly hits the nail on the head about some of the disjointed arrangements and the drumming that doesn't gell quite as well as before, this is the first album that has made me come back to it almost obsessively. Some of the passages on Contrapasso, Check Your Misfortune and Sour Everythings are ridiculously beautiful in a way that they haven't gotten to on previous albums.

MiloRuggles
Contributing Reviewer
March 16th 2020


728 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Intredasting, I very much got that way with VoS and HL, as mentioned. Completely agree on those moments though, this album has some fantastic passages.

MiloRuggles
Contributing Reviewer
March 16th 2020


728 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Righto, shortened up the intro for flow's sake. Cheers Nocte, you were right on that one.

parksungjoon
March 16th 2020


21531 Comments


RIP horse dick, you will be missed :[

parksungjoon
March 16th 2020


21531 Comments


this site needs more necrobestiality



on an unrelated note, anyone wanna start a blackened pornogrind band with me?

JAV
March 17th 2020


3368 Comments


I do agree this album does not sound or feel as good as the other records.
The Danny comment was quite good also.



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