Intronaut – Habitual Levitations (Instilling Words With Tones)
Stoner/jazz/post-metal giants Intronaut’s new album, Habitual Levitations, sees the band delving deeper in their more laid back, soothing sound. Since the introduction of clean vocals on their last record, it seems that Intronaut has only furthered that gesture, with their being almost no harsh vocals present on Habitual Levitations, but that doesn’t take away from their ability to write some of the gnarliest riffs in post-metal. The heavy moments on this record aren’t as unrelenting as on their first couple of records, but they still hit hard, and they’re used brilliantly in juxtaposition with the jazzier, clean parts of the songs. Now-a-days, Intronaut seems to have a really clear sense of direction with the material, building some of these songs up in ways similar to post-rock bands like Godspeed You! Black Emperor, adding onto previous ideas and ending the songs with climactic conclusions. But there are some songs that do end with jazzed out jams, filled with Joe Lester’s amazing bass playing, like Harmonicon and Milk Leg. On this album, Intronaut has abandoned the use of harsh vocals, but has retained every aspect that makes this band so special. Riffs are still heavy as hell, the clean jazzy parts are still angelic and post-rock like crescendos are just awesome. The only difference is that they’ve decided to focus more on the cleaner (strong emphasis on “er”) post-rock parts for song-writing than filthy sludge. If you’re looking for awesome post-metal that gets jazzy, you need Intronaut.
The Way Down
Leer – SPRINGBREAKNOPARENTS
My first experience with Leer was when I saw them open at the San Jose top of the Gaza/Code Orange Kids/Full Of Hell tour back this time last year. I was really impressed with their set. Leer plays a brand of music that fuses math rock, screamo, and hardcore and overall has a really poppy, infectious sound. You can think of it as Piglet+American Football+Page 99 or something of that matter. So when I heard they put out their debut album this year, I decided to check it out and was treated to some of the best stuff I’ve heard this year. Leer is a 5-piece band out of San Jose, and they’re fairly young guys. The vocalist is still in high school I’m pretty sure. And it shows in the music, in a good way. The band crafts some amazing screamo that’s filled to the brim with bright, lush tones, amazing musicianship and raw emotion. The vocalist screams his heart out over all of these tracks. The album has tones of moods, from booming angst, poppy fun, and introspective climaxes. It’s really amazing to see how many styles this band successfully pulls off while keeping the sound completely original. If you dig math rock, mathcore, screamo, or post-hardcore; you need to this album.
Download the album for free on there bandcamp
Pray For Teeth – From The Dry Edge Of The Shore
Pray For Teeth are a three piece out of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. They started out as a hardcore punk band, but have changed directions into a more atmospheric sludge/post-metal direction. I discovered them when I saw them play with Children of God and Centuries back in October. Their set was absolutely crushing, and I really got into their single the released this year, Swallow The Ground. So when I heard they were also releasing a full-length, I was excited to hear it, and I was pleased. From The Dry Edge Of The Shore features 4 songs and they’re all absolutely crushing songs. The band sounds top-notch on the whole record too. All the guitar and bass tones are great, ranging from glistening and beautiful to crushingly heavy. The vocalist also has a hell of scream that fits the music perfectly and send chills down my spine on certain moments on the record. The songs feature tons of sounds, from post-rock crescendos, heavy hitting sludge riffs, and even moments with really beautiful, glistening chords covered in echo. Given their recent change in sound, these guys have a really good ear for making some awesome post-metal with great crescendos and phenomenal climaxes. The riffs are heavy, the leads are beautiful and all around this record is just great. If you need some fresh post-metal, get this.
Stream it here
Protest The Hero – Volition
After a more than successful crowd funding, Protest the Hero had some big expectations to fill with their 4th record, Volition. And they did just that. If you don’t already know, Protest the Hero are a Canadian progressive metal band. Their take on progressive metal is really technical and highly melodic fast-paced tunes. The guitar playing could is reminiscent of neo-classical stuff. The musicianship on their records is always incredible. This time around, it seems that the band has combined the highly melodic tendencies that were apparent on Scurrilous and combined the really aggressive elements that were on Fortress and staying true to their original hardcore punk influences. The album also sees the reintroduction of harsh vocals to PTH’s music, as it was completely left out on Scurrilous. Another cooling thing about the record is that it features Chris Adler of Lam of God on drums. You’d almost never recognize it though because he fits Protest the Hero’s sound so damn well, which only shows that he’s definitely one of the better drummers in modern metal. The album also features other cool features from people who donated to their fundraising campaign. The album also features vocalist Jadea Kelly on a lot of tracks, and she sounds just as angelic as ever. I was originally worried about this idea but none of the fan feature sound overwhelmingly mediocre. Another really cool thing I feel they threw in on the record was the callback to their 2008 hit “Sequoia Throne” on the track Animal Bones on this record. Like with every record, this album features a lot of diversity in the tracks. Songs like Clarity, Plato’s Tripartite, and Underbite are more on the aggressive side of things, tracks like Mist and A Life Embossed have a lot of epic tendencies. All the songs features tons of shredding riffs, highly melodic playing and singing, and are catchy as hell. The only negative thing I felt about this record is that it wasn’t until a 4 listens or so that I felt some tracks definitely stuck out more than others, but that just means every track is about the same level of badass. If you like progressive metal, check it out.
A Life Embossed