For their first release with heavyweight label Century Media, California's Intronaut have come up with perhaps their most stylistically diverse album to date. Though at its core it is of course a metal album, there's plenty of jazz, prog, psychedelia, and post rock elements going on here, meshing with their mix of doom, death, and sludge metal. Never tremendously aggressive, brooding and atmospheric quite often, Prehistoricisms is simply a varied platter of music, showing a band that's really growing into their skins and ready to take any risk or venture into any unknown territory that comes to mind.
At the front of everything always seems to be bassist Joe Lester, who reminds me of what the late, great, Jaco Pastorius would sound like if he played in a modern metal band. His jazzy, thick bass lines act like a lead instrument on the raucous "Cavernous Den of Shame", cuts through the thick wall of brooding guitar noise on "The Literal Black Cloud", and adds plenty of bubbling groove on the massive sounding title track, a real powerful number that also features some great harsh vocals from guitarist Sacha Dunable. Drummer Danny Walker is also a busy person throughout these tunes, his intricate fusion fills really adding a lot to these textured and pounding songs, and alongside Lester really lends a jazzy & proggy dimension to the CD. Don't expect much in the way of guitar solos from Dunable or Dave Timnick-it's more about heavy riffs and textures, noises and effects, much like classic Neurosis or Isis, evident on tracks such as "Any Port" and "Sundial", the latter seeing the band coming closest to death metal on the CD, Walker's drums really working overtime against a wall of crunchy riffs, bulbuous bass, and raging vocals. After the doomy stomp of "Australopithecus" (again, check out the amazing bass and drum work here), the band launches into the extended epic "The Reptilian Brain", a real adventurous piece that kicks off with silky bass melodies and tribal percussion before becoming an atmospheric progressive metal number with plenty of bursts of energy and passages of stark tranquility.
Very impressive stuff, and a real change of pace for the Century Media label (in a good way), Prehistoricisms is just an all-around mature release from Intronaut that shows just how far they've progressed. Can't get enough of the bass and drum work here, and really, when was the last time you really focused on bass and drums on a metal CD? Exactly. Check this one out-you'll be glad you did.
1. Primodorial Soup 1:26
2. The Literal Black Cloud 5:29
3. Cavernous Den of Shame 4:12
4. Prehistoricism 6:29
5. Any Port 7:31
6. Sundial 7:33
7. Australopithecus 4:32
8. The Reptilian Brain 16:20