"The Challenger"

(Translation Loss 2007)Intronaut - The Challenger

If you subscribe to the theories of Charles Darwin (or the X-Men) then you believe that evolution is the key to survival for a species. The same may be said for genres of music. Many genres continue to stay fresh through innovation, while others stagnate and die (metalcore, anyone?). Thankfully, Intronaut seems to understand this and have taken the tired NeurIsis model beyond formulaic, assembly-line post-metal on "The Challenger." Although the album only has three original songs, plus six live tracks and a remix, the new material is more than enough to get fans of this genre excited over.

The title track sports scorching circular riffs, dive-bombing pick slides, and some Meshuggah-ish mechanized jud. And that's seriously only about half of the shit going on in the first song alone. "Whittler of Fortune" doesn't have nearly as many different parts, but that doesn't make it any less kick-ass. Centered around precision trem picking, it also features some monstrous chugging and the only breather on the album in the form of some clean riffs, albeit brief ones. Intronaut closes out the new stuff on "Deep Architecture," with its interplay of spiky melodies and controlled chord progressions, both appropriately heavy. Noticeably absent are the dreamy, wandering, light sections that devour many post-metal albums. Intronaut gets right into the heavy stuff without making you wait around for about twenty minutes per song. The bass is active and beefy, and everything is held on point with Danny Walker's slick drumming.

I would love to describe more awesome songs, but again, there are only the three new ones. To be fair, the live tracks are tight and well-recorded, showcasing Intronaut's ability to deftly execute their complex sound in a live setting. It's just a tad frustrating to get so little of something so good. If my descriptions sound convoluted, the music is anything but. Intronaut create music that is intricate but not muddled, and it's a breath of fresh air to listen to songs that are genuinely intriguing. Hopefully, more bands will start to travel the path that Intronaut have taken, and keep post-metal from going the way of the dinosaur.


buy it!