Progressive Metal | Sludge Metal | Psychedelic
After the release of Juniore’s Un, Deux, Trois, I was left wondering to myself, that surely that wasn’t the only new great album I had to listen to this week. This hunger for another album led me to browse on Album of the Year, and discover this newest project from a band known as Intronaut.
Judging by the good scores on Album of the Year from both critics and users, as well as the intriguing surreal artwork, I had a hunch that this would be an album that is right up my alley. Fluid Existential Inversions is the first album from the band in roughly five years, after the release of 2015’s The Direction of Last Things. And while it should come as no surprise at this point, this is, once again, my introduction to a band. In this case, it is the American prog-metal band that had formed in 2004.
And indeed it was. This mainly sludge metal styled album borrows influences from several different bands whose music I’ve adored over the years. Those artists include the likes of Mastodon, TOOL, Gojira, Night Verses, Scale The Summit, and The Mars Volta.
But on its own, Fluid Existential Inversions stands as an incredibly enjoyable joyride of an experience; one that switches frequently enough between sludgy heaviness and psychedelic elegance to keep this album as musically colourful as the album cover is visually.
As far as surreal metal alums go, this new album pretty much follows suit with the familiar formula. However, the sounds found in the majority of the tracks still felt very fresh to me.
On this album, Intronaut have cleverly managed to make each of the songs as extensive as they would need to be to make the album an “experience”. But very few of the tracks felt as patience-testing as countless other prog-metal songs from other artists. While the shortest duration you can expect from a track (excluding the intro) is over 5 minutes, the album as a whole is still considerably under an hour long. in my mind, it is a very compromising duration overall, and makes for an enjoyable listening experience.
While there did eventually come to a point where a section of the album felt like it dragged on, the majority of tracks on this thing gripped me by the soul, and didn’t loosen in the slightest. I strongly believe that it is a very difficult task for a progressive metal album especially to remain engaging. But Intronaut, for the most part, have pulled it off with their latest project.
There were only a few things that ultimately stopped this album from completely blowing me away as one of this years finest records. But all that aside, it is far more than a solid project.
Fluid Existential Inversions is an out-of-this-world sound at points, with all the complexity and musical chemistry one would expect to love about a progressive metal album such as this one. I would definitely recommend to fans of the genre, or those who are just looking for something really well-executed.
Favourite Tracks: Contrapasso | Speaking of Orbs | Sour Everythings
Least Favourite Track: Check Your Misfortune
Metal Blade Records inc