posted on 2/2006 By:
World, meet Intronaut. If this is the first time you’ve heard the name, it sure as hell won’t be the last. Null is a scintillating introduction to a band that seems poised to make quite a name for themselves. It’s not that Intronaut is doing anything especially new, but rather that they are doing a few things at once, and doing them damn well. A product of their experience, the band is made up of ex-members of such disparate acts as Exhumed and Impaled (Leon Del Muerte), Anubis Rising (Sacha Dunable), and Uphill Battle (Danny Walker). The clearly jazz-versed Joe Lester handles bass and fills out the roster. Intronaut doesn’t necessarily sound like any of those bands, but the Anubis Rising connection shines through most brightly. Intronaut merge jagged, technical battering and post-metal aeration into a blend of extreme but thoughtful, progressively slanted modern metal. Think Mastodon and Swarm of the Lotus combined with modern Isis. Interested?
The four songs (if you exclude the brief intro track) that make up the twenty-eight minute Null are highly developed and full of twisting dynamics and opposing tensions that give these lengthy songs a perfect balance that prevents the material from feeling forced or overdone. The band’s sound is driven by a gut punch of controlled chaos that resembles a less manic Mastodon both in riff approach and the full drum patterns, but the band demonstrates ample cleverness in skillfully transitioning to post-metal/hardcore/whatever and making it seem like it’s only natural. Not only natural, but easy. The switch from angular aggressiveness to scenic aerials works so well because the band carefully lines up the two elements from a distance and manages to meet them in the middle, creating massive crescendos while avoiding the right angles that would give the music a disjointed and unnatural trajectory. The other reason this approach works so well is that even during less noisy stretches drummer Danny Walker stays active, laying down busy snare and cymbal work, which sustains a level of dormant aggressiveness. The band also achieves depth from a multidimensional approach to instrumentation, and rather than sticking with a purely riff driven attack, the members judiciously choose moments for instruments to emerge and become more prominent. The busy and varied drums are a key element to the band’s sound, and bassist Lester’s nimble, slinky bass work weaves confidently in and out of the forefront.
"Sores Will Weep" and "Fragments of Character" are undeniable opening arguments from a band that has every angle covered. They’re meticulously crafted and skillfully played, balance power and space, and show an artful grasp of melody and restraint. One could make the argument that there are moments when the material sounds too much like an outtake from Panopticon or Remission, but taking a wider view of the album as a whole makes it hard to refute that this band sounds comfortable within its own skin. Null was initially self released before Intronaut hooked up with Goodfellow, and the band is readying a proper debut for a summer release. One can only hope that it will continue to deliver on the promise of this introduction. As good as it is, Null isn’t a masterpiece, but it seems likely that this band is capable of delivering one.
Register to post comments.