More Musical Than Lyrical
LA progressive-metal group Intronaut couldn’t have thought of a better subtitle for its fifth studio album. Lyrics notwithstanding, the music itself fits the song titles in an abstract way, like the names of modern paintings. Comprised of former members of Anibus Rising and Uphill Battle, Intronaut has outgrown comparisons to bands like Mastadon and Lamb of God. On Habitual Levitations: Instilling Words with Tones the band has solidified its own sound that combines an Alice In Chains-like vocal tandem with a full range of dynamics while maintaining an air of accessibility.
The first song on Levitations is called “Killing Birds with Stones.” It begins with gradually building guitar, interrupted by a doom-esque riff and pounding drums, but once the music settles down and the vocals come in, the “prog” part of the genre label is evident. Within the music, within the textures and tones, you can hear the birds and you can feel the stones. “The Welding” begins with mechanical guitar stabs, and sounds like the music a steel mill would make. There is a moment in “Steps” that could be the soundtrack to a child running up and down the stairs.
Those who dislike progressive metal–or rock, for that matter–will find these songs tiresome. While there is at least one instrumental gem in each song, depending on your taste and patience you might not be willing to dig that far.
The song lengths are healthy and not unusual for this kind of music–mostly six to eight minutes–but that gives Intronaut time to fill the palette of each song. The final number, “The Way Down,” builds up and up, reaching a crescendo before dropping quickly with an atonal echo, as if to say that “the way down” is to leap into the abyss, and if you’re listening to Levitations while you do so, you are in for a colorful ride.