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Intronaut - Prehistoricisms CD (album) cover




Experimental/Post Metal

4.07 | 96 ratings

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5 stars A great number of genre classification arguments in metal seem to stem from the use of the term progressive. Many refuse to let the meaning stray from its classical definition, citing acts like Atheist and Cynic as the true examples. Some feel that artists like Cult of Luna and Mouth of the Architect deserve equal access to the term, as each refuses to adhere to traditional songwriting structures. Still others identify Between the Buried and Me and their impressive but often incongruous musical mentality as the most accurate modern day embodiment of the term. But it's time to expand the ring just a little more, as Intronaut's Century Media debut, Prehistoricisms, delivers a fantastically executed effort overflowing with free-flowing, inventive musicianship, establishing the band as a major contender in the progressive-metal-genre-argument cage match.

Prehistoricisms is the complete album of which Intronaut fans have been dreaming ever since the LA quartet teased listeners with last year's The Challenger EP. All of the elements that have been instrumental in generating the band's consistently growing buzz (the off-kilter rhythms, the effortlessly smooth bass lines, the sharp guitar work, and the masterful drumming) are present as part of Intronaut's trademark sound on Prehistoricisms. But the record showcases a notable songwriting shift away from that of past releases as the band takes a sizable step back from a number of conventional metal ideas. Joe Lester's accomplished bass work carries even more weight on Prehistoricisms, often times leaving the guitarists to intertwine delay-soaked walls of sound rather than traditional metallic riffing. Any Port and Prehistoricisms both display this quality frequently, leaving much of the tracks' melody and driving force to Lester's nimble fretwork.

But don't worry; Intronaut hasn't gone soft. There are no clean vocals or cheap melodies, and there's no lack of heavy moments on Prehistoricisms. The Literal Black Cloud features massive one string guitar grooves. Australopithecus unleashes a few periods of Meshuggah-esque chugging. And Any Port stands out as it slowly decays into nearly two minutes of intense dual drumming.

Intronaut's delivery of a record that retains the same level of heaviness despite shifting away from more traditional metallic elements is downright mesmerizing. As Prehistoricisms moves between (arguably) metal's most impressive bass progressions, intricate guitar lines, and carefully controlled bouts of crushing force, it's not difficult to sense that Intronaut has defined their own slice of the progressive metal genre. Inventive metal acts may be rare these days, but if a few bands like Intronaut can provide well-balanced and creative records like this, there may be hope after all. Prehistoricisms is without a doubt one of the top metal records to be released this year.

burgey | 5/5 |


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