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Intronaut: Habitual Levitations

California gets dreamy with prog metallers’ fourth album

If you’re going to go down the prog route, you might as well go the whole hog. And from their spaced-out name to that higher consciousness-grasping title and the fact the fourth album from this LA quartet opens with an eight-minute, somnambulant sonic trance, Intronaut have taken that prog rock piggy from the tip of its porcine ears to the end of its curly tail.

The influence of Tool is clear in the insistent, hypnotic rhythms pounding through the likes of Steps, while sludgy riffs and eerily dry vocals up the drama.

There are moments when the album struggles to keep from drowning in self-indulgence, the jazz blah noodling of Milk Leg and Harmonomicon sounding like a session in the rehearsal room that should really have stayed there, but their knack for starting a song in one place before veering off the finish somewhere else entirely, and the warmly heavy melodicism of Sore Sight For Eyes – a treat for anyone missing Oceansize – make the lulls in an otherwise fascinating journey very worthwhile.