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Excellent Stuff...For a While - 70%

The_Evil_Hat, August 15th, 2009

I approached Chrono.naut with quite a bit of excitement, having already fallen in love with the majority of the band’s full-length albums. Despite coming after Come My Fanatics…, and bearing a guitar tone closer to that album, this feels mostly like an exile from their self titled debut. The mood is far lighter than it is on the majority of their later works, and – despite the lack of lyrics – the song seems to be more focused on exploration and surreal sights than horror.

The EP opens with the first part of the song, simply called Chrono.naut. This primarily consists of satisfyingly thick riffs and well done, bluesy leads. The guitar is big, thick and distorted, but manages to retain quite a bit of clarity. The bass generally follows along here, making itself felt but not doing much more. The drums groove along without really adding anything, though they don’t detract…until the last minute or so, at least, when everything seems to separate and turn into a bit of a mess. The vocals are always clean here, occupying a position out of the limelight, but still quite noticeable. They’re better than on the debut, but still not at the levels they’d reach on subsequent albums.

The second portion of the song, Chrono.naut Phase II (Chaos Revealed) is, despite what the ‘Chaos Revealed’ title might imply, the most psychedelic thing that the band’s ever done. The bass generally plays the riffs, the drums keeping the rhythm beneath, while the guitar explores various doped out leads and effects, the vocals trailing along and frequently falling beneath everything else in terms of volume. This is easily the greatest section on the EP, with everything coming together quite well and providing a great, tripped out atmosphere. The only problem is the length. It simply goes on for far too long. There are a few variations here and there, but the mood always stays consistent, and by the first break you’re more than ready for it to either end or to segue back into something more forceful.

This is a strong song, one that’s unfortunately hampered by its extremely bloated length. It’s an interesting listen, primarily for the later track, and worthwhile for any Wizard fan, but it’s hardly essential. Thankfully, the band would develop their song writing skills more in the future, and also learn a bit as to the tasteful use of ambience.