The Direction Of Last Things


California-based progressive metal troupe INTRONAUT have released their fifth full-length release "The Direction of Last […]
By H.P. Buttcraft
November 26, 2015
Intronaut - The Direction Of Last Things album cover

California-based progressive metal troupe INTRONAUT have released their fifth full-length release "The Direction of Last Things". If you haven't already listened to my interview with guitarist Dave Timnick, you should know that this album was created in the studio in an incredibly short amount of time. And being mixed by the one and only Devin Townsend (of STRAPPING YOUNG LAD and DEVIN TOWNSEND PROJECT), this album is a composite creation similar but vastly more evolved than anything the band has previously put out.

There are several moments on this album where we hear a combination of vocals INTRONAUT has not done before; the interchanging of screaming vocals and the clean vocal harmonies like on "Fast Worms" and "Sul Ponticello". Songs like these exemplify that "The Direction Of Last Things" is truly a blend of INTRONAUT's entire musical catalogue on one record.

"The Direction of Last Things", the album's title track is the climatic core of the album. This song is so unpredictably heavy and infectious it kind of aggravates me that this band is not as well known as they deserve to be. The song sounds enormous with all this heavy rhythm and charged-up aggression that was built up for this song will floor you.

The album's debut single, "Fast Worms", was everyone's first glimpse into this album before it had come out. The song starts off with a reverberated, distant intro but them slams into the song with hardcore vocals. Fans of this band will instant recognize this sort of song from their earlier albums. But what comes next is this clean vocal melody, which the band is becoming known for doing as of late. As "Fast Worms" continues, the rearranged and shifts back and forth between these two opposing musical forms encompasses the sensibility of stylistic dynamic that INTRONAUT brings into their music.

When you see the name "Digital Gerrymandering", you should focus more on the "digital" part. This song definitely takes the "djent-ier" approach on this song with lots of odd time signatures, finger-tapping lead guitars and polyrhythmic groove. But what separates this song from music of the same genre is that there is still a rich sense of musicianship that is closer to a progressive hardcore and alternative rock area similar to bands like MESHUGGAH, BOTCH and TOOL. This is a good song although I think it is a tiny bit out of place among the other songs. But if you think of "The Direction of Last Things" as a solar system and every one of these songs is its own planet in that system with the title track being the Sun all these planets revolve around.

As the song draws into its instrumental interlude, the song becomes a sort of jazz-fusion jam with post-rock guitars. The bombastic and distinct percussion of Danny Walker becomes what drives every other instrument in the band during this part and is what really should be getting most of the attention during this movement. That can really be said for the entire album for that matter. What I find amusing is how you can hear hints his drumming from EXHUMED and his other Grindcore projects. But obviously, INTRONAUT is a band they really focuses on his unique and versatile drumming that goes far and beyond just playing fast.

We see a giant effort put forth by Joe Lester. He proves himself, again, to be one of the most recognizable to hear and overall best bass guitar player in metal today. You can hear this the best on the track "The Unlikely Event Of A Water Landing". This song has a large part of it that is an instrumental, melodic jam where the bass guitar really shines from the first note all the way to the last.

We even get a shiny, slick little overdriven guitar solo as well, something fans of INTRONAUT may have never heard before. I certainly can't remember a lead like that on any of their past albums. And the humble nature of the band really comes through with that solo too. It never gets indignant with flashy guitar sweep picking, dive-bombing, or showboating off some fret tapping sorcery. It's just a nice-sounding solo that just fits seamlessly in with that jam.

There is such a strange moments on this album that are, I guess you could say, "atmospheric remixes". On "Sul Ponticello", it begins with a barrage of blasting drums and down-tuned guitars but in the middle of this mess, the song stops and becomes just heavily effected vocals talking over an Muslim prayer being loudly sung out. It really takes you by surprise and you wonder if this is a gag or not.

INTRONAUT give us yet another professional, rich and charismatic album and "The Direction of Last Things" may be their most prolific contribution to date. It could have potentially been a creative mess if the band wasn't so obsessed with the assembly of their instrumentation. Because of their meticulous attention to detail, the assembly put together a grand work of art in the end. "The Last Direction of Things" is guaranteed to win over fans old and new.

10 / 10


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"The Direction Of Last Things" Track-listing:

1.Fast Worms
2. Digital Gerrymandering
3. The Pleasant Surprise
4. The Unlikely Event Of A Water Landing
5. Sul Ponticello
6. The Direction Of Last Things
7. City Hymnal

Intronaut Lineup:

Dave Timnick - Guitars, Vocals
Sacha Dunable - Guitars, Vocals
Joe Lester - Bass
Danny Walker - Drums

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