Intronaut - The Challenger (CD) Cover Art

Intronaut - The Challenger (CD)

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Origin: USA
Released: 2008
Catalog number: TL25-2
Intronaut burst upon the scene last year with their full-length debut Void, which made an appearance on many best of 2006 lists, including mine. Their music is dense and complex and goes from intense and brutal to technical and precise to progressive and quirky. Their latest is The Challenger. It includes three new tracks along with several live songs and a remix. The new tracks are excellent, and the band's songwriting keeps getting better. The live tracks have decent sound quality, and show a slightly different vibe. Intronaut's live shows are a little looser and more raw than the CDs, and even more intense. It's a great mix of technicality and brutality. Intronaut is a talented band, and The Challenger is a solid CD to whet the fans appetites until the next full-length of original material.

The classic stopgap album serves as an aural appetizer, satiating hunger on the way to the next big, all-original statement. With The Challenger, Intronaut gives us a whole fucking three-course meal of a between-album release: three new studio tracks, five live recordings, and a remix, all spread over fifty-five minutes. Treading water it may be, but The Challenger reaffirms that Intronaut doggy-paddles in an entirely different swimming pool than does the rest of the metal world. The title track summarizes everything that is great about this band, from its cavalcade of cancerous guitar riffs to the way the rhythm section generates and regenerates its own kinetic energy even as it rams through squiggly time signatures.