Intronaut: The Direction Of Last Things

Californians get caught up in their whirl

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It would be easy to talk about Intronaut’s fifth, mind-expanding album in terms of how impressive it is.

The Californian four-piece have made a record that feels instant and accessible and engaging, despite the fact it’s hugely complex, challenging music, and frequently heavier than planets. And yes, this is astonishingly difficult to do, and the musicianship displayed throughout its 46 minutes is worth an admiring nod or 17.

But to talk about all that makes The Direction Of Last Things sound like something you stand back and stroke your chin at, rather than lose your shit to – which it is not. This is an album asking you to throw yourself into with limbs and hair whirling from the first jarring, jagged riffs of opener Fast Worms. It’s an album that’s happy to veer from space rock and jazzy prog (The Unlikely Event Of A Water Landing, in particular) to post-metal, like a more angular Cult Of Luna, and ends on frantic, pugnacious drums overlaid with smooth, soaring vocals.

It wants you to feel, not contemplate, and for the most part, it does this. It’s only a slight lack of emotional clarity holding The Direction Of Last Things back from greatness – and from being as affecting as intended.