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Intronaut | Habitual Levitations | review | metal | Lollipop


Habitual Levitations (Instilling Words With Tones)
(Century Media)
By Rick Ecker

This four piece progressive metal band from Los Angeles formed in 2004 and since then has put out one EP and five studio albums before this new album. This new nine-song album has some long tracks that require your attention to take in all of the sounds that they're laying on you.

"Killing Birds With Stones" is up first, and it's a thick-sounding song with a nice groove, some nice chugging guitars, drumming that is deft, yet still heavy, throbbing bass lines, and melodic singing. "The Welding" has more of a straightforward metal sound with the tasty licks all over, intense drumming and rough-sounding vocals.

"Steps" has a thick, sludge sound that gets your head bobbing and a great atmospheric quality, almost like a Pink Floyd song. The guitar playing is stellar on this track, as is the harmonizing vocals. The singing is diverse, from soft and relaxing to harder-edged and metal, but it never veers into the screaming, unintelligible style that would take away from the songs.

Joe Lester's bass playing is full-bodied and extremely rhythmic, and Danny Walker's drumming has the ability to go from hard and heavy to a nice gentle touch, bolstered by Dave Timnick's added percussion fills. The guitar work really takes you on a journey with streamlined playing that takes you from heavy land into dreamscape world.

"Sore Sight For Eyes" has a nice quiet break in the middle of the song that lifts you up with the inspired drumming, and on "Milk Leg" it's great to hear the entire band playing their hearts out with every member getting their chance to be fully heard and enjoyed: Definitely one of my favorites. "Harmonomicon" has some dissonance added that really adds to the gentle, jazzy groove of the song. "Blood From A Stone" is spacey and ambient, a short song that is truly a delight to hear and brings to mind something from the 1960s in style, while closer "The Way Down" has some chugging guitar playing and crashing drums that bring the experience to an end.

With the clean production giving the band the ability to show off their technical and progressive sound, the songs seem purposeful and earnest by building moments that rise and fall from enormous to delicate with ease. Intronaut has really created an epic album that would sound great performed as a whole in a live setting.


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