EP REVIEW: Ad Astra (INTRØSPECT)
EP: Ad Astra // ARTIST: Intrøspect
Come peek into the heavy heavens with Sydney prog quartet Intrøspect and their stunning debut EP Ad Astra due out next Friday.
Arriving in a whirlwind of melodic and complex prog metal, dreamy djent collective Intrøspect have commanded significant attention since their debut single (and EP title track) Ad Astra unveiled in September, scoring over 20k hits on their debut music video in less than a month and announcing their EP live launch alongside Glass Ocean and Opus of A Machine on November 30. But wedged between their debut milestones is the release of their brand new EP, and across five tracks the group take us on an immersive and ethereal journey that looks to the stars amid a cavalcade of ambience and crushing might.
Ad Astra kicks off with Behold, deftly layering in instrumentation as it builds into a rich and resounding beacon of warm keys and searing guitars. It's clear from this thunderous intro the Intrøspect gang are partial to a slice of djent amid their more post-rock moments, and it's a short and snappy moment of sonic mystery that sets the scene for the next journey - title track Ad Astra. Again the djent is strong with this outing, but it's here that things take a transcendent turn as the glossy vocals of frontwoman Felicity Jayne are introduced for the first time with scintillating results. Celebrating the ambition and curiosity of youth, Ad Astra truly announces the Intrøspect status quo in decisive fashion (with a gorgeous music video to boot).
AD ASTRA (INTRØSPECT)
Midway through the EP rests the heaviest of tunes (and the group's most recent release) as Sovereign builds on the previous sonic building blocks and thrusts in careening riffs with some gnarly guest vocals courtesy of Above, Below's Jacob Wilkes. Based on Carl Jung's conception of the shadow, Sovereign lives up to its namesake, hurling out a moody and malevolent track that significantly hints at some of the weightier clout lurking up the Intrøspect sleeves.
The remaining EP returns to blissful waters with the exquisite ballad Earthrise going full prog love-song before the stirring Nyx billows in on a cloud of crisp guitars and surging textures as Intrøspect give it their all, mixing blastbeats and doubled riffs in a ravishing ode to rising from the ashes and keeping hope when all seems lost.
It's easy at times while traveling through Ad Astra to forget this is a debut release with the cohesive nature of Felicity Jayne, Loko McDonald, Jamie McVicker and Hugo Rumore shining though notably polished production and rigorous execution. There's an overwhelming sense of immersive positivity anchoring Ad Astra that strikingly juxtaposes the grunt and heavy grooves dished up along the way. Ultimtely, Intrøspect reach for the stars with their debut EP but hit beyond to a compelling galaxy that will leave you wanting more.
INTRØSPECT'S DEBUT EP AD ASTRA IS DUE OUT FRIDAY OCTOBER 18. THE GROUP WILL ALSO BE UNLEASHING THEIR NEW TUNES LIVE ON NOVEMBER 30TH IN SYDNEY AT THE FACTORY FLOOR ALONGSIDE GLASS OCEAN AND OPUS OF A MACHINE. FOR MORE INFO, HEAD HERE.
BY TIANA SPETER