Two and a half years after ”Valley Of Smoke”, an album that made Intronaut worldwide known, the Los Angeles based four-piece decided it was about time releasing their fourth full-length album. The long titled ”Habitual Levitations (Instilling Words With Tones)” may prove to be a door for wider approach of the fans. Though it contains songs that mostly surpass five minutes in duration (except ”Blood From A Stone” which is only three minutes), the type of material is kinda lighter than we’ve been used from Intronaut. That doesn’t mean that the album is indifferent or cheesy of course, but here comes the point that we focus on the band’s past.
Not to mention the rest three great albums (”Void”, ”Prehistoricisms” and ”Valley Of Smoke”), even their two EP’s ”Null” and ”The Challenger” contained much better material for me personally. It is not only that Intronaut were a part of the uprising of the American scene when bands like Mastodon, Isis, Baroness and Pelican (even Kylesa) were constantly emerging from the United States, it was also the fact that the band especially in its early days of 2006 looked able to be a part of the huge success of all the bands mentioned above. This happened quickly and fair, as the Californians had all the skills and inspiration by their side.
This fourth album of theirs is also a great sample of what many could call progressive metal, but not like bands that are synonyms to the genre like Dream Theater for example. Intronaut have a different approach to what the word progress means and how you have to manipulate it inside your music. The two longest tracks open and close the album, with ”Killing Birds With Stones” and ”The Way Down” lasting more than eight minutes. The good thing is that there is plenty of time between these two tracks to get used to the album, the bad thing is that the album becomes a little tiring and repetitive and leaves you with a feeling of boredom in the end.
Of course, a not so super album by Intronaut could become the dream album of many other bands out there, but that doesn’t mean that we have stopped having expectations from the Americans. ”Milk Leg” which is the trademark song of the album is shot as a video but I can’t tell if it helps so much in promoting the album well, or if it’s the perfect way for fans to reach Intronaut, as there are much better tracks than this on the album (like ”The Welding” or ”Sore Sight For Eyes” for example). On the other hand, they are lucky to have a drummer like Danny Walker, a guy who’s played with Exhumed, Uphill Battle, Phobia, even Murder Construct (check out the ”Results” album from them).
Walker plays some great tribal-esque drum parts which fill perfectly some gaps where you might start yawning, the album lasts almost 58 minutes and I think with ten or fifteen minutes less, it would be much better. I think that it needs careful listenings, but even this way it cannot stand the test of time and the comparison with the rest of Intronaut’s discography. I enjoyed it as a mellow and calm trip to other dimensions (the atmosphere can’t be lost from such bands), but I wanted (and still want) more from bands like Intronaut. It’s good to experiment with your sound, but the result doesn’t always promise success.
|01. Killing Birds With Stones
02. The Welding
04. Sore Sight For Eyes
05. Milk Leg
08. Blood From A Stone
09. The Way Down
|Joe Lester – Bass
Danny Walker – Drums
Sacha Dunable – Guitars, Vocals
Dave Timnick – Guitars