Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography



Experimental/Post Metal

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Intronaut Valley of Smoke album cover
3.81 | 73 ratings | 4 reviews | 33% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

Write a review

from partners
Studio Album, released in 2010

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Elegy (6:36)
2. Above (6:10)
3. Miasma (7:51)
4. Sunderance (3:29)
5. Core Relations (6:39)
6. Below (4:22)
7. Valley of Smoke (8:34)
8. Past Tense (5:56)

Total Time 49:37

Bonus track on 2010 European CD release:
9. Vernon (4:12)

Line-up / Musicians

- Sacha Dunable / guitar, vocals
- Dave Timnick / guitar, tabla & drums (7), percussion, vocals
- Joe Lester / 5-string fretless bass
- Danny Walker / drums

- Chris Negrete / sampler (3)
- Justin Chancellor / bass (7)

Releases information

Artwork: David D'Andrea

CD Century Media ‎- 8675-2 (2010, US)
CD Century Media ‎- 9979752 (2010, Europe) With a bonus track

LP Century Media ‎- 8675-1 (2010, US)

Thanks to Wolf Spider for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
Edit this entry

Buy INTRONAUT Valley of Smoke Music

More places to buy INTRONAUT music online

INTRONAUT Valley of Smoke ratings distribution

(73 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(33%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(33%)
Good, but non-essential (27%)
Collectors/fans only (1%)
Poor. Only for completionists (5%)

INTRONAUT Valley of Smoke reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Valley Of Smoke is Intronaut's third album already. The Americans had created a recognizable sound on their preceding alums, akin to Mastodon and Baroness but more progressive, with a notable dissonant sound, jazzy accents and prominent fretless bass, and - if you ask me - more interesting songs.

All these elements are still intact but the sound has expanded by the addition of melodic vocals and a more spacious sound where rich jazzy chords often prevail over riffs. It makes the music more intriguing but also more demanding. It's still accessible but a couple of listens are indispensable.

The clean vocals consist of long held tones, chants if you like, that create a sort of intoxicating effect; they can be a bit monotonous sometimes, but due to the variation in instrumentation and the clever structure of the songs, the album remains an entertaining listen throughout. The dreamy instrumental title track and the vocal Core Relations are representative tracks and a recommended listen for fans of either fusion, rock, prog or metal.

Based on a couple of listens, I still have a preference for their more direct and uncompromising Prehistoricisms album, but Valley Of Smoke is a grower and definitely a clever piece of metal from a band that wants to move forward with each release. It will perhaps not bode well for their (almost non-existent) popularity, but it is sure good for their street-cred. A varied, rich and modern metal album. 3.5 stars

Review by Conor Fynes
5 stars 'Valley Of Smoke' - Intronaut (9/10)

Despite still being a fairly underground genre, the world of post-metal has been slowly, but surely picking up speed over the past decade. While bands like Neurosis and Isis have reached near-mainstream success in metal, there are still legions of bands that remain obscure to the general listening public. Despite being one of the chief acts of the post-metal scene, such is the case of Los Angeles sludge quartet Intronaut. With 2008's 'Prehistoricisms,' they were instantly put on the map for their keen, powerful yet intelligent sound. Now, 2010's 'Valley Of Smoke' shows the band developing their sound to incorporate more of a jazz influence into their sludgy, distorted mix of post-metal. Through incredible performance, good songwriting and their best production values yet, Intronaut has crafted an excellent album.

When hearing Intronaut and their sound, I am reminded of a wide range of bands, from the riff-loving, ballsy heaviness of Bison B.C, to the subtle, beautiful aesthetics of many of post- rock's giants. What comes out is a sound that is a perfect marriage of two highly contrasting sounds, and instead of comparing and switching between the two, instead manages to fuse the two into a very fresh sound for progressive metal. In terms of style, one of the biggest things to mention about 'Valley Of Smoke' in particular is it's jazz-heavy influence. While the most 'in-your-face' aspect of the music may be the sludgy metal tone of the riffs, the guitars may often also use plenty of jazz-derived chords, at times even playing jazz chords through distortion; the result is a heavy yet intellectual experience.

While the songwriting on 'Valley Of Smoke' is very commendable, it would be nothing without a passionate performance from the musicians. Unlike many bands, Intronaut manages to balance each member's presence equally, so that a listener can hear the bassist's contribution just as much as the drummer, or experimental guitar work. With that being said, the album is mixed perfectly, and allows the listener to hear these tracks through the perfect lens. Of special note is the beautifully intricate drum work of Danny Walker, which never seems to be content with a simplistic beat, and the clean vocalist on the album, whose droning baritone works perfectly for the band's existing style. As an added bonus, the musical talents of Tool bassist Justin Chancellor are also heard, whose distinct tone can be heard in the album's title track.

The album's only real flaw comes in the last two tracks, with the epic title track 'Valley Of Smoke' and the close 'Past Tense.' While 'Valley Of Smoke' builds very nicely (beginning with some tribal percussion before building into a crushing riff), it does feel as if it overstays it's welcome by a minute or two, and while 'Past Tense' is as good a song as any other on the album, it feels awkward to have a typical Intronaut song follow such an involved instrumental epic.

While I had not heard the music of Intronaut in detail before 'Valley of Smoke', I am very impressed by the band's ethereal, yet crunchy approach to progressive metal. While the genre of post-metal is still underground even in the metal world, bands like Intronaut are evidently taking the reigns from the genre's previous giants and carrying the torch forward with pride. 'Valley Of Smoke' is one of the best performances of the year, and a sure contender to bless many year-end lists.

Review by Negoba
3 stars More Post-Metal Plus Pleasure

If one was to mix Baroness' Blue Record and Ihsahn's After, the result would sound alot like Intronaut's Valley of Smoke. Mixing just the right amount of raw guts and heady musicianship, the band immediately grabs the listener with a smart but no-BS attitude and takes off. Intronaut is deceptively complex, packing many musical ideas in the music so seamlessly that it's easy to think of the music as just a fancy form of stoner rock. Alas, I was roughly disabused of this notion when I brought the album out for the first time in many months while I was running. I thought the upbeat vibe would be a good motivator, but the numerous time changes and mood shifts were actually distracting from my need for a consistent rhythm and energy.

Jazzy post-rock elements like the beginning of "Core Relations" fit perfectally with grinding metal riffs of "Above." The harmony vocals (I think the intervals used are what remind me so much of Ihsahn, along with rhythmic feel) are the dominant lead element, but harsh vocals take center stage much of the time as well. Odd time signatures, double bass, all the typical prog metal trappings are here...except the wankery. Guitars really are textural here and if anything the only instruments that get to show off are bass and drums. But when the rhythm moves to the fore, always it is with a groove, highlighting a mood or a feel. The overall feel is this a much more visceral, living, organic music than most prog-metal.

While each song has a few new sonic ideas, the entire album does have a little bit of samey- ness to it. There really aren't specific melodic ideas that stick with me to say which song is which. Most of the tunes are mid-tempo. The harmony vocals, though pretty, don't vary a lot. I guess that's several ways of expressing the same idea, need I repeat myself? Joking aside, this is something that both the Baroness and Ihsahn records excelled in that is lacking here.

I've personally labeled a group of bands "Post-Metal Plus" that not only draw on stoner and sludge groove and emotion but also a more elaborate sense of composition and musicianship from prog. Intronaut fits firmly in this category along with bands like Grayceon and Giant Squid. Certainly fans of those bands will enjoy Valley of Smoke, which was one of the better metal releases of a weak 2010. I would have probably given this album 4 stars when it first came out, but with some much stronger competition in 2011, including genre-mate Grayceon, "Good, but non-essential" seems appropriate. 3.5 stars.

Review by siLLy puPPy
COLLABORATOR PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams
4 stars The year 2008 was a good one for INTRONAUT as they signed onto a worldwide deal with Century Media Records and hit a home run with their amazingly brilliant "Prehistoricisms." The band followed up with a successful touring schedule with Kylesa and Mastodon as well as the Great Indian Rock Festival in Dehli, India. Two years later INTRONAUT followed up that album in a most unexpected way with their 2010 release VALLEY OF SMOKE. There was a new direction a-brewing and the most noticeable aspect is the toning down the overall harshness and adding heavier doses of post-rock thus creating a thick atmospheric slick of post-metal with healthy portions of sludgery on the side. The band enjoyed the luxury of a stable lineup as well and on this one sees a cameo appearance of Justin Chancellor from Tool adding a second bass on the title track.

The opening track "Elegy" belies the direction of the album as it sounds like the signature progressive post-rock infused sludge metal that the band has been conjuring up from day one, complete with progressively constructed distorted riffs, shouted vocals and jazz- infused song structures. Starting with the second track "Above" Sacha Dunable seems to leave the harsh extreme vocals behind for the most part and focuses more on a clean atmospheric approach reminding me of the clean parts on later Enslaved albums in mood and dynamics. While the shouting pops up intermittently there is much more attention paid to the lighter aspects of the band's sound. This is an approach they would even further on the following album "Habitual Levitations."

After a perfect album like "Prehistoricisms" i hardly expected a repeat in its successful formula and i'm glad INTRONAUT didn't try to simply recreate it. I have to admit that i was initially disappointed by the approach on VALLEY OF SMOKE upon first listen as they seem to be on the same trajectory as The Ocean or even Mastodon where they began their career as uncompromising heavy sludge outfits and have slowly drifted towards the more ethereal and atmospheric pastures of post-rock infused sludge metal but after a few listens this one does sink in and the progressive time signature workouts accompanied by seasoned musicians and the stellar production of Josh Newell only makes this one better after every spin. True that it will never dethrone what came before in my book but VALLEY OF SMOKE is still quite the sophisticated atmospheric sludge metal attack with lots of post-rock meanderings. Unlike "Prehistoricisms" which i can put on any time and fall into the musical ecstasy zone, VALLEY OF SMOKE requires me to be in the right mood to want to hear, but when i am this one does deliver the goods.

Latest members reviews

No review or rating for the moment | Submit a review

Post a review of INTRONAUT "Valley of Smoke"

You must be a forum member to post a review, please register here if you are not.


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.