Los Angeles’ sworn enemies of 4/4 time signatures, INTRONAUT, step up their game on album number four, The Direction of Last Things. Their extreme metal roots play the most prominent role in the album’s sound since the early days of the band as evidenced by the heavy riffing and extreme, distorted vocals. Given that, INTRONAUT takes inspiration from their past and incorporates it into where they’ve currently progressed resulting in, arguably, their best album to date.
Opening song, “Fast Worms,” is a tour de force that embodies the compelling journey that is The Direction of Last Things – atmospheric passages, volcanic intensity, fantastic genre melding, and clockwork precision. The hilarious music video reflects their piss taking/tongue in cheek attitude.
“Digital Gerrymandering” is built on an awesome snaking riff that the band masterfully morphs through different time signatures and phrasing. The tension that is built and then released with the clean vocal section is awesome.
On “The Pleasant Surprise,” INTRONAUT take thrash riffs and retool them into a very modern metal sound that is huge. TESTAMENT and DEVIN TOWNSEND be damned.
The Unlikely Event of a Water Landing” is the band showcasing why they are one of the best “prog metal” bands on the planet. Seemingly, two very different vibes with a guitar solo at the end that would make Jerry Cantrell proud.
“Sul Ponticello” is pure soul. Check out the vocals that come in at the 4:47 mark, and the song gets even better from there.
The title track is easily the biggest monster on the disc and carries this momentum of finality that doesn’t let up until The Direction of Last Things‘ conclusion. The more you open your ears, the more you will hear all of the intricacies. Check out the killer riff that comes in at the 1:15 mark. So damn good.
“City Hymnal” starts and ends in a fantastic cascade of sound that would draw envy from DEVIN TOWNSEND and JESU.
The Direction of Last Things is a union of well thought out riffing/song phrasing, impactful dynamics, and an always original delivery and style. Bands like ENSLAVED and OPETH are still playing catch up in many ways as to how far ahead INTRONAUT have gone in their progressive journeys. In the larger scope of things, metal needs more unique, stand alone albums such as The Direction of Last Things. (Century Media Records)