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Intronaut - The Challenger CD (album) cover




Experimental/Post Metal

2.98 | 7 ratings

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siLLy puPPy
3 stars THE CHALLENGER is the third overall release and second EP by the progressive post sludge metal band INTRONAUT that is sandwiched between their first full debut "Void" and their second full album "Prehistorians." Although this is an EP it clocks in at a full 50 minutes. It is essentially a mix of three new tracks, five live cuts from "Null" and "Void," a truncated remix of "Burning These Days" from "Null" and an untitled bonus in the form of a stupid and irritating sound check but thankfully is at the end of the album so i can just simply *ignore* it :)

The three new tracks: "The Challenger","Whittler Of Fortune" and "Deep Architecture" pretty much see INTRONAUT continuing the sound set forth on their debut album "Void," however they seemed to have upped the aggression and downed the progressiveness. These tracks are more geared towards aggressive sludge metal with a post-metal type of atmosphere. While the progressive aspects have been toned down they certainly didn't go away and there are plenty of angular rhythms, technical drumming displays and deathened, anguished vocals to be heard.

The live tracks are fairly well done showing the band churning out some seriously muddy and hostile sounding post-sludgery. Since these tracks are taken from their first two releases they are more straight forward sludge meets post-metal sounding like a mix of maybe The Ocean meets Isis or Pelican. The production is actually nice for a live recording and the highlight of these tracks is the eerie mix of guitar sounds. While one guitarist churns out the rhythmic backbone of the songs, the other is creating strange atmospheric embellishments and when it comes to the solos they sound more like something off a freaky psychedelic Krautock album from the 70s then anything to be heard in metal. This EP is also the last for guitarist Leon del Muerte.

The remix for "Burning These Days" is a nice no-nonsense burst of spastic drumming, highly distorted jangly guitars and occasional sampling effects that add interesting mood dynamics. It has an interesting high speed volume fade in / out ending. The only track that is a waste of time is number 10 which is a sound check of the mic and drums with some profanities thrown in. Boring! This is not a stellar release by INTRONAUT but it was never intended to be. It's just a nice package of extra goodies for fans. While this may not be in the top leagues of their discography is certainly a worthy addition if you already dig their unique progressive sludgy post metal. The new tracks are certainly as good as anything on their debut and the live set is a nice sampling of their live capabilities. 3.5 rounded down

siLLy puPPy | 3/5 |


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