Graviton is a new side project from Sacha Dunable, best known as the main man behind genre- and mind-bending prog metallers Intronaut. Listeners who come in expecting a similar experimental strain, with unusual song structures and a thunderous bottom end, will be right on the mark. But where Intronaut revels in bipolar aggression, Graviton pursue a noticeably more subdued direction. Massless is a debut record colored by thick, fuzzy electronic swathes, clear, crystalline guitars, and sparse vocals that can come across as both highly emotional and detached at the same time. These elements make for an album that often feels introspective and measured, one that works via atmosphere and melody over rhythm and intensity.
That’s not to say there aren’t heavy sections. They make up barely half the album, but when they do hit, like the pummeling main riff of "Tachyon," their spacey surroundings make them all the more powerful. It is this juxtaposition between spiky chords and dense soundscapes that makes this album nothing if not interesting.
But “interesting” will not mean “good” for every listener. If the idea of large sections of near-ambient music, or of song titles named after elementary particles, turns you off, ringing of pretension and self indulgence, then Massless is probably not the album for you. But more open-minded fans looking for a strange, well-composed listen should approach Graviton with high hopes. CLARKE READ