For those who don’t know, Intronaut is a metal band from Los Angeles. Their sound has changed a bit over the last few albums, but has mostly been of the experimental post-metal variety. The band’s earlier efforts, Void and Prehistoricisms, were a bit heavier and consisted of primarily harsh vocals. However on the two most recent releases, the band has been using cleaner vocals and making a greater use of soft, ambient interludes, and thus the quality of their albums have increased dramatically.
Habitual Levitations might just be the band’s finest work yet. These songs are heavy, pummeling, and catchy as hell, with influence and inspiration from countless different styles. Several songs on here like “Sight for Sore Eyes” and “Harmonomicon” display a clear Cynic influence, while others such as “The Welding” draw mostly from sludge metal bands like Mastodon and Baroness. Overall though, the band still carries its post-metal roots, showing a great appreciation for Isis and Neurosis.
In contrast to the majority of other progressive metal bands out there today, Intronaut do not attempt to impress you with their technical abilities. Instead they use their softer ambient sections to illicit an emotional response from the listener. This is particularly notable on the track “The Way Down,” which builds and builds throughout its lengthy 9 minute running time to an extremely powerful climax, without ever resorting to fancy time or key changes.
If there would be one small complaint about the album, it would be that in showing off all of these influences, Intronaut sometimes lose sight of their main purpose. The song “Steps” would fall into this category, as it seems to just drift off into an aimless ambient section without a clear end goal.
Overall, Intronaut have crafted yet another fantastic album. Highly recommended to any fans of progressive or post-metal.
Standout tracks: The Welding, Milk Leg, Eventual, The Way Down