Tronos – Celestial Mechanics

Tronos is a side-project born of many late-night conversations between the two of the more prolific creative forces in underground metal, Napalm Death legend Shane Embury and legendary producer Russ Russell. Joining them is the equally talented Dirk Verbeuren on drums, Billy Gould, Troy Sanders and Dan Lilker on bass and vocals by Snake from Voivod – there’s no shortage of talent on display here.

Celestial Mechanics (Century Media) has been a labour of love over a few years, and it shows there’s a lot of attention to detail in the crafting on display here. Starting off with the Slithering ‘Walking Among The Dead Things’ which builds slowly to oppressive walls of sonic atmosphere and churning riffs, the album twists and turns almost constantly. This track showcases that more than most, at times brutal and grinding, and at times prone to almost ecstatic flights of psychedelic space fantasy.

‘Judas Cradle’ is another slow starter which seems to effortlessly shift gears, slow sludgy vocals, Basslines which seem to be channelling Geezer Butler himself, and a huge densely layered sound make it a pleasing well-crafted listen.

‘The Past Will Wither And Die’ is a definite standout track, multiple layers of sound converge into a cohesive yet dystopian soundscape, a doomy track at heart which has your head nodding along with the space madness. It seems the closest track to envisioning their attempt to provide the soundtrack for the human psyche being fired into the heart of the sun.

‘A Treaty With Reality’ is a heavier track which packs quite a few twists and turns into its short track time, before fading nicely into the sublime choir and ethereal vocals of ‘Voyeurs Of Natures Tragedy’, which is enough to make you want to fling your arms out wide and embrace our bleak and beautiful universe, before crashing us back down to reality is the black metal infused ‘Birth Womb’.

‘Premonition’ has a post-Metal/Voivod feel to it, ‘our lives burn faster as it approaches the end’ this is another slower track with some really exceptional layered vocal sections and bleeds wonderfully into more post-Metal goodness with ‘Beyond The Stream Of Consciousness’.

Finishing off the album with a fantastic rendition of the lesser covered Sabbath track ‘Johnny Blade’ which is an odd choice for the end of such a conceptual album. Although the notion that after a sonic journey through time and space, we ultimately end up with Black Sabbath is definitely amusing.

The album itself seems to twists and turns between styles and genres, as reflects the nature of the album concept, yet it still has an overall structure and sound which is coherent and enjoyable but may not be to everyone’s taste and could be seen by some as disjointed especially earlier in the album. The longer songs for me were the more engaging, and by the end of the album, I was very much enjoying what I was hearing, the last few songs, in particular, worked extremely well together.

7 / 10

RICH PRICE