INTRONAUT: Into the Void

Rising out of the ashes of progressive doom merchants, ANUBIS RISING, and tech grind anarchists, UPHILL BATTLE, Southern California’s INTRONAUT have quickly made their mark on the underground scene with their unique mixture of molten heaviness, odd-time signatures, and complex atmospheric passages. APESHIT caught up with lead singer/guitarist Sacha Dunable following the group’s second performance in support of MISERY INDEX. Sacha dropped some science on everything from the group’s new album, Canadian border patrol, and what “Teledildonics” is all about.

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INTRONAUT‘s debut EP, Null, made an impression on the underground scene with some of the most refreshing music to come out of the L.A. scene in years. Now only a year later, INTRONAUT is making good on the potential promised with Null with their first full-length album, Void. Although the band boasts some of death grind’s finest talent, INTRONAUT is a completely different animal. Vocalists/guitarists Sacha Dunable and Leon Del Muerte both alternate between high and low snarling death metal vocals throughout the album, but that’s where the similarities between their previous bands and INTRONAUT end. Musically, the band delivers involved, complex, intricate instrumental journeys with a strong attention to detail, resulting in some powerful, epic songwriting. “Faultlines” and “Nostalgic Echo” are both prime examples as the band weaves in almost sleepy, dream-like passages before building to powerful, sustained peaks. The oddly titled “Teledildonics” on the other hand, sees the band shifting in and out of syncopated rhythms effortlessly with a strong progressive edge, with a section that even explores fusion jazz. But that’s not to say Void is a masturbatory shred fest. On the contrary, the band’s firm grasp on groove keeps things flowing smoothly so as not to dissipate into a sloppy mess, which may be the key to the band’s success with such inventive material. Void is a complex, impressive album from a creative, ambitious force of musicians that reveals new and interesting surprises with each new listen. Easily one of the most engaging and original albums of the year. (Goodfellow Records)

PHOBIA – Cruel

So Cal’s own grind kings, PHOBIA, have been delivering fast and furious audio beatdowns for nearly two decades now and the band shows no sign of slowing down with their latest onslaught, Cruel. From the blistering opening title cut, to the ominous strains of album closer, “Numb,” the band takes no prisoners and wastes no time, managing to cram in over twenty tracks under twenty-seven minutes. Despite being plagued with even more lineup changes with long-time member Bruce Reeves departing as well the loss of their umpteenth drummer, Cruel benefits nicely from Scott Hull‘s contributions in the production department. Former UPHILL BATTLE/current INTRONAUT skin basher Danny Walker also drives the album with a seemingly endless barrage of precision blast beats intensifying the band’s already ruthless delivery, resulting in the band’s most invigorating output since the classic Return to Desolation album. Cruel is an impressive return to form from with no bullshit trends, masturbatory shred fests, or filler (there’s simply no time for filler) just honest to goodness skull-smashing grindcore from the leaders of Southern California crustgrind. (Willowtip Records)