Every so often you just want a metal album that is that, a metal album. Well here we have just that with the latest full-length from Intronaut. Prehistoricisms is a heavy metal album that is not a concept album, but an album based upon the theme of evolution. I can dig that, especially when the music is - at its core - gritty, raw, and aggressive metal.
Following the introduction via the well-titled “Primordial Soup” the album begins with the slow-churning and heavy “The Literal Black Cloud.” The song fuses together big slow-moving riffs of Black Sabbath with the equally as heavy, pounding rhythms and devilish bellow of the vocals. “Cavernous Den of Shame,” on the other hand, is a much more aggressive song in nature. The guitars are fierce and the drumming is sonically fast. Matched with the coarse vocal shredding of guitarist Sacha Dunable, the song is a roaring slab of metal, save for the brief interlude of a rhythm solo (bassist Joe Lester especially gets his chance to showcase his talents) two-thirds of the way through.
The title-track is a combination of odd time signatures and off-kilter song structures, especially evident in the rhythm section of Lester and drummer Danny Walker. These free-jazz influences heard on “Prehistoricisms” are again heard on the song “Sundial.” It’s bit like songs heard on a Candiria album, but less frenetic and slowed down to the pace of molasses being poured.
“Any Port” fits well within the overall sound of the album. It does however boast a tribal-esque drum solo for its final portion, something that might seem out of place when heard alone, but in the confines of the album, it is quite fitting. “Australopithecus” mixes the band’s off-kilter song structures and aggressive metal delivery into the perfect headbanging amalgamation.
Prehistoricisms closes with the sixteen-minute epic “The Reptilian Brain,” which is broken down into five sub-songs. The instrumental track allows the musicians to showcase their talents at their respective instruments while portraying the five basic stages of human activity.
There are slight flourishes of technical metal, jazz, psychedelic rock, and post-rock in the music here, but they are never overbearing nor do they effect the overall composition of the music. With Prehistoricisms Intronaut have delivered an album that ranks as one of the best metal albums of the year. Hessians and bangers of the head should own this album, no excuses.
8.0 / 10
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