Intronaut – Habitual Levitations (Instilling Words with Tones) (Century Media Records, 19 March 2013)
Hello there! “TFIF” and all that stuff. I wanted to get one more thing written and shared with you before the weekend, and in deciding what to talk to you about, I was feeling kind of reflective: looking both forward and back. Forward, because (as I mentioned yesterday) this year seems to be slipping by at an alarming rate. Before we know it, it’ll be time for year-end summaries and lists already! There are a few new records that’ve either just come out (or will be soon) that I’m sure will rank pretty high, as well as some from earlier this year I’ve listened to a whole bunch but maybe just haven’t had the chance to review yet. I’m going to want to get moving on posting something about all of those, lest I find myself in a situation like I did at the end of 2013 (where I put together a list of my favorite 26 releases of the year, 25 of which I hadn’t yet written about!) … which, of course, is what also has me thinking backwards. Almost nine months later, I’m still not quite halfway through reviewing last year’s list yet!
So I decided, there’s no time like the present; let’s discuss another of last year’s best albums. This is one of the more high-profile items on that list, or at least one that was put out via the biggest label. So a lot of you are probably already familiar with this band. But there may be some out there who haven’t heard Intronaut before, or may have missed out on this album — which would be a shame, because it’s really good stuff!
The last time we heard anything out of this group of Queenslandians was two years ago, when their debut Descent Into the Maelstrom dropped out of nowhere (which I originally learned about thanks to the terrific folks over at Heavy Blog is Heavy). That disc’s combination of raw emotion — ranging from soul-crushingly heavy ugliness to soul-wrenchingly mournful beauty, and all points in between — really grabbed me and still hasn’t let go. Later that same year, when I started writing about music myself, it was the natural choice for my first review. (Note that this was a brand new experience for me at that time, and I had no idea what I was doing — unlike now, over eighteen months later, where I still have no idea what I’m doing!)
Anyway, that particular release was pretty monumental — not because I chose to write about it when my journalistic career was in its infancy, but totally on its own merits. If I hadn’t arbitrarily chosen to exclude the small handful of albums I wrote about from my year-end list, I can assure you Descent would have found its way to the very top of my Top 11 of 2011. So after numerous reports of line-up changes and rumors about writing and recording, it’s with great excitement that I’ve received official news about the band’s follow-up, which I will now pass along to you…