Saturday 23 March 2024

Iota - Pentasomnia (Album Review)

Release Date: March 22nd 2024. Record Label: Small Stone Records. Formats: CD/DD/Vinyl

Pentasomnia - Tracklisting

1.The Intruder 08:14

2.The Witness 05:21

3.The Returner 09:14

4.The Timekeeper 05:56

5.The Great Dissolver 03:25



Joey Toscano: guitars, synths, vocals

Oz: bass

Andy Patterson: drums


Sludge/Stoner Rockers Iota released their classic debut album Tales back in 2008 and the band members went onto form or become part of different bands such as The Otolith, Subrosa, Dwellers, Bird Eater and Hibernaut. Now, sixteen years later Iota have returned with their second album Pentasomnia which continues the wicked blend of Heavy Psych, Sludge Rock and Stoner Rock but with a contemporary Hard Rock groove that uses Classic 90’s Alt Rock and Grunge to great effect.

The album is quite diverse with Iota drawing upon bands such as The Doors, Monster Magnet, The Who, Earthless and KYUSS on this release alone but managing to develop their own haunting and intriguing style. The levels of Psychedelic heaviness is what allows Iota to move to the different eras of Stoner Rock with a classic heavy Space Rock sound being quite catchy and aggressive at the same time. 

Opening track of The Intruder is full of heavy guitars with 1960’s Heavy Rock and Psychedelic weirdness with the seedy underbelly of 1970’s Doom Rock. The vocals are Blues Rock obsessed but the fantastic heavy guitars allow everything to fall into place even when the Prog Rock surroundings allows Iota to open the listeners mind to different strains of Psychedelic based cinematic world building for the rest of the album.

Second song The Witness is full of heavy Ambient themes that is full on Space Rock with a muscular Sludge Rock presence which sees Iota embrace storytelling reminiscent of The Doors and you can apply that logic to the way how the vocals are delivered as well. There’s a solitary guitar groove that becomes more central and heavier when the song draws upon to its natural conclusion. This is one of the standout tracks on the album with Iota making a welcome return to the scene with this great song alone.

Third song The Returner starts off slowly with an understated Garage Rock/Classic Rock swagger with moments of low-key Psychedelic movements before adding different Sludgy textures. The vocals are dominated once again by that classic Sixties Hard Rock theme but the whole song becomes more modern when Iota starts adding heavier instrumental progressive based passages. This is another one of the standout tracks with perhaps the best instrumental sounds on the whole record. There’s a subtle Trippy Psychedelic sound that brings a world weary style and destructive blend of Doomedelic heaviness which transcends into other areas of music you don’t initially expect.

The final two tracks of The Timekeeper and The Great Dissolver keeps up with the Apocalyptic swagger from Iota who play heavy SONIC and Psychedelic driven moments with a great use of classic sounding vocals and excellent lyrics to allow Pentasomnia end on a mighty high.

Welcome back IOTA, you’ve been missed. This is a brilliant and action packed album to announce your return with. Add this great album to your collection now.

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to Earsplit PR for the promo.

Pentasomnia is available to buy now on CD/DD/Vinyl via Small Stone Records.


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