2013 and 1/3: The Best Albums of the 2010s (So Far)

Intronaut: Valley of SmokeIntronaut: Valley of Smoke (Century Media, 10/12/10)


Intronaut: “Elegy”

Intronaut has made its name in forward-thinking metal circles by understanding that pure metal moments hit harder by sandwiching them between other styles — in this case, passages that are closer to fusion or jazz. Rather than a guitar spotlight, the group reaches for a fretless bass solo; in lieu of a unison run, Intronaut deploys a spacey, percussive breakdown.

This non-linear school of songwriting isn’t for the unadventurous, but there are plenty of overlapping, Meshuggah-style grooves for listeners to latch onto. And ultimately, Intronaut’s willingness to think differently gives rise to a highly unique, thoroughly compelling album.

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