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Intronaut - The Challenger CD (album) cover




Experimental/Post Metal

3.02 | 7 ratings

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3 stars I've been keeping an eye out for anything Intronaut-related ever since I was pleasantly surprised by their 2008 release Prehistoricisms. Fortunately it didn't take me long to track this EP on Spotify and I've been listening to it ever since.

The Challenger is an EP released by the band in between the two full length studio releases and features three studio recorded new songs followed by five live recordings, one remix and even one untitled bonus track! The total play time adds up to just over 55 minuted meaning that this so called EP is actually longer than their studio albums! Since I haven't heard Intronaut's first album I don't have much experience of the band's early sound although judging from the live recordings, that are taken from Null and Void, it definitely seems that the band has matured quite a bit since those days.

The three new studio tracks all show signs of the band that I've heard on Prehistoricisms. The material might not be as Jazz-oriented but there are definite nods at the genre here and there. The most prominent signs of that comes in the long intro of Whittler Of Fortune followed by some of the most unexpected guitar interplays featured on this Death Metal driven material. If this EP only featured this great studio material followed by a remix and the bonus track then it would have easily been comparable to the excellent Meshuggah 1994 EP titled None that preceded their breakthrough album Destroy Erase Improve.

The sound quality of the live recordings is generally decent although the sound of Sores Will Weep dives below this level due to its awkward distance quality. It's almost like the track was recorded as a bootleg from the audience area. The material itself might be of value to those who have actually heard the two previous releases since I sometimes can barely make out what the guitars are playing. The remix of Burning These Days from Null isn't something to be excited about since this track only lasts from 3 minutes in comparison to the 8 minute original.

Overall The Challenger is an interesting predecessor to Prehistoricisms that would have worked a lot better in a trimmed down form moving the live recordings to a separate live album. It's a good, but non-essential release for anyone who is interested in exploring the progression of the band's sound.

***** star songs: Whittler Of Fortune (5:05)

**** star songs: The Challenger (4:38) Deep Architecture (5:05) Fault Lines (live) (6:12) Rise To The Midden (live) (6:42) They (As In Them) (live) (7:12) Bonus Track (5:47)

*** star songs: Gleamer (live) (5:47) Burning These Days (remix) (2:54)

** star songs: Sores Will Weep (live) (6:01)

Rune2000 | 3/5 |


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