REPORT AND PHOTOS BY: Melody Ryan
A dark summer’s night had arrived that I had been looking forward to for quite a while. I stood in silence in a small, dark, crowded bar, taking in the various faces that surrounded and floated past me, their muffled words grazing my ears and following them across the room.
It seemed a little curious when I found out that one of my favorite bands, Intronaut, was coming to this place.. The End. It’s a small place… too small for such a genius, incredibly talented band such as them. Yet this place, dimly lit, appropriately grungy felt the perfect vibe for the evening.
When I first discovered Intronaut almost ten years ago, I knew I had found a gem. It was love at first listen, and I thought, “…this music is mine, this music was meant to be listened to by me..” At the time, they were fairly new, and they weren’t well known, but they have come a long way since then, paving their own road through the metal kingdom with their unique style that is creative, intellectual, and exploratory into new combinations and fusions of sound and rhythm. And here they were, in Nashville, TN… just for me.
A local metal band, Aeliana from Sparta, TN opened the show with their “post-tropical melodramatic semi-skeptical western bluesgrind death-funkcore”. I stole that description from their Facebook page, because I like it. Guitarist/vocalist D.R. Haston thanked the bassist and other guitarist for filling in so it seemed the only other actual band member performing was Josh Qualls on drums. It was impressive that they played so well together considering they aren’t the usual members. The music was typically good metal, but there were some pretty cool surprises throughout their performance, and I found myself head banging once in a while. These guys just released their debut album Equilibrium last year, and it seems that they are just starting to get their momentum going. We’ll have to wait and see what this group has in store.
Moon Tooth followed next. These guys are a very interesting group from Long Island, NY. I could describe their music as mathematically organized chaos. They have definitely pushed the lines of the metal genre, and in a spectacular way. It gets boring these days when trying to discover new metal bands, because so many sound the same and seem to have forgotten the quality of originality. Moon Tooth has truly succeeded in making their own sound. Each song follows a stream of consciousness path that pulls from a variety of musical styles, and despite the unknown that comes from within their music, they maintain a cohesive sound that is all their own. As if the music isn’t interesting enough on its own, frontman John Carbone really plays with his vocals as an its own instrument, which is something to appreciate. Their debut album Chromaparagon was just released earlier this year. It is a wild ride from start to finish, and you never know what you’re going to hear next. I also love non-traditional instrumentation, and seeing the album crediting violin, didgeridoo, and organ is a wonderful thing. Definitely keep an eye out for these guys.
Entheos was the third and final band to open for Intronaut. A mish mash of musicians that
had previously been in other metal projects, Entheos is comprised of former Animals as Leaders drummer Navene Koperweis, former The Faceless bassist Evan Brewer, former Animosity guitarist Frank Costa and vocalist Chaney Crabb. These guys have recently joined forces, and had their first EP, Primal, debut last year. I can describe this group simply as being fast, hard, and dirty. Chaney is absolutely brutal on vocals, and it’s always fun and refreshing to see ladies involved in the metal genre. They also use electronics to give their music a progressive techy feel, which I enjoyed, but my boyfriend couldn’t stand. “How do we know what they’re actually playing?!” Aside from his criticism, they did a fantastic job and brought non-stop energy from beginning to end.
My first thought when Intronaut came on stage was that I loved the way the band set themselves up. Bassist Joe Lester, was front and center, right where he should be. On either side, Sacha Dunable on guitar and vocals, and Dave Timnick on guitar and vocals. Centered in the back in front of a screen that lit up with every image from your imagination and beyond, was drummer Danny Walker. One of the first things that stood out to me when I first discovered this band was the gorgeous stand-out tone of the bass. It only seemed appropriate that he was up front where everyone could enjoy him. My boyfriend is also a bass player, so I really appreciate at shows when bassists are not tucked away in the back as if they aren’t a vital part of the band.
Before they began playing, I was excited to see that Sacha was wearing an Avedissian Pickups shirt. Alex Avedissian is a dear friend of mine who started winding pickups on his own and has worked hard to create his own business from scratch. I was able to talk to Sacha a little after the show, and he mentioned how he loved Alex’s pickups and liked to promote him whenever he could. I thought that was a really admirable thing for him to wear that shirt specifically in the town where Alex had begun his business. Shout outs to Al- Look him up if you ever need pickups!
Back to the review. Their music is spectacular. It’s beautiful, it’s creative, it’s heavy, it’s interesting, it’s thought-provoking, it’s on a level all its own. Their music has the ability to take you somewhere else.. I have actually meditated to their music on multiple occasions. And hearing them play live was even better than listening to their albums- they didn’t skip a beat. Gorgeous, technical rhythms and melodies weave and wind through soothing bass lines and mathy drum beats… All of it seems so magical when you hear it, and seeing it come together live is an incredible experience. On top of the music being immaculate, they had some pretty cool light displays, and a screen set up behind the band with trippy visuals that played throughout the show. Sometimes lovely and breathtaking, sometimes uncomfortably disturbing, sometimes hypnotizing, the visualizations perfectly enhanced the beautifully dark sounds of Intronaut. Credit for the mind-blowing visualizations goes to Burke Roberts.They ended the show by playing “The Literal Black Cloud”, which I was surprised and extremely thrilled about. I never imagined I would get to watch them play this for me, yet it actually happened. Thank you, Intronaut. Thank you.