Intronaut - Void (Cover Artwork)


Void (2006)


It's always nice to hear a record that is a complete surprise. Void draws on influences that are dear to my heart, and it has spent a considerable amount of time in my CD player in the last couple of weeks. While Intronaut are a fairly new band, with only one EP (Null) under their belt, they are no strangers to the music scene, members having played in Anubis Rising, Uphill Battle and Exhumed. Only bassist Joe Lester is a newcomer, but with a degree in music from the University of California, his pedigree is not in question.

It is always difficult to characterize the sound of a band that draws on so many different influences. Perhaps the easiest way to describe Intronaut would be as a heavier, faster Neurosis. Add in atmospheric bits reminiscent of Isis, the jazzy bass lines of fusion metal pioneers Cynic and Atheist, and the Dillinger Escape Plan's time signature changes, and you might get a rough approximation of what Void sounds like. Intronaut manage to meld these various styles into a singular piece that's an effective, heavy-hitting statement. The album's seven tracks maintain a quick pace throughout, with the occasional acoustic bit to let us catch our breath. However, the album is hampered by a bit of a lack of memorable moments. There's little melody or groove going on; even after nearly a dozen listens I can't recall any significant moments. There's just too many changes in speed and riffs for the listener to get a good feel for a song. Whereas Isis and Neurosis build up from the slower parts to create a rising sense of intensity, Intronaut tends to switch tempos back and forth very rapidly, which I find a bit jarring.

Overall, Void is a very decent listen that will appeal to a wide range of heavy music fans, from math-metal geeks ("is that in 11/8 or 5/4?"), to those into ambient hardcore. As Intronaut continues to mature, I'm certain they will produce outstanding music. The talent is definitely there, it just needs a bit of spin 'n polish.