IOTA: The Obelisk Premieres Pentasomnia Full-Length From Salt Lake City Cult Psychedelic Rock Trio; Album To Drop This Friday Via Small Stone Recordings

Photo by Rachel W. Rawle

The Obelisk is currently streaming Pentasomnia, the new full-length from cult psychedelic heavy rock trio IOTA. The premiere comes in advance of the record’s official release this Friday, March 22nd via Small Stone Recordings.

It’s been nearly sixteen years since Salt Lake City’s IOTA carved a place for themselves in the heavy underground with their debut album, Tales. Released by Small Stone Recordings, it was recorded by drummer Andy Patterson (The Otolith, ex-SubRosa), with founding guitarist/vocalist Joey Toscano (who’d form Dwellers later), and bassist Oz Inglorious (ex-Bird Eater, Suffocater) and drew heavy rock impulses across space in a way that was innovative and engrossing.

Pentasomnia marks a return for a project begun by Toscano circa 2001, a band that has been intermittently lived with, shelved, pushed, pulled, stretched, and twisted, but whose sound shimmers with atmosphere and the resonant, bluesy emotionalism of Toscano’s vocals. “Pentasomnia is an amalgamation,” says Toscano, “roughly translating to ‘five dreams.’ Each song is told from the perspective of a different mental state.”

Writes The Obelisk in part, “Behold the album of five sleeps. Positioning themselves at the junction between the conscious and unconscious feels fair enough for Salt Lake City trio IOTA, whose five-track Pentasomnia LP marks a return from the ether some sixteen years years after their debut, Tales appeared via Small Stone Records and heralded a new generation’s take on what turn-of-the-century heavy rock had accomplished, blowing it out with purposefully epic jamming and putting cosmic-minded heavy, blues and intense desert thrust together to create something immediately of its own from it… IOTA tapped into something special and the thirty-two-minute Pentasomnia arrives not as the follow-up Tales never got, but as a new realization of self-formed from the same components…”

Read more and stream IOTA’s Pentasomnia, exclusively at The Obelisk, at THIS LOCATION.

Watch IOTA’s “The Timekeeper” video at THIS LOCATION.

Rather than some slapdash decade-and-a-half-later follow-up to a record on its way to being a niche-classic, Pentasomnia is cohesive, and as much an unexpected step forward as an unexpected return. IOTA — Toscano, Inglorious, and Patterson — revel in the groove and sway of these five songs, from the boozy head-hang of opener “The Intruder” into the ambient push of “The Returner,” which feels like a manifestation of the meld between cosmic and desert rock that was so much the heart of the band during their first run; the very essence of what they do, given new life and perspective.

Pentasomnia was written and recorded live over a series of sessions between 2018 and 2019 and completed in the tumultuous years after with family health emergencies, other projects and recordings, the pandemic, work, and all the stuff of life happening all at once. And yet somehow, in and perhaps from all of that, the three-piece have managed to come back together, find each other, and renew their sound, and to let the intervening time underscore how crucial their collaboration genuinely is. There are going to be a lot of heavy rock records released in 2024. You sleep on IOTA at your own risk.

Pentasomnia will be released on CD, LP, and limited-edition vinyl. Find preorders at the Small Stone Bandamp page HERE.

Joey Toscano – guitars, synths, vocals
Oz Inglorious – bass
Andy Patterson – drums

The song isn’t just trippy in concept; by the time Toscano is soling, it sounds like he’s fully immersed in the ‘psych’ part of ‘heavy psych.’ ‘The Timekeeper’ comes with an animated music video that looks like an Adult Swim ‘Off The Air’ segment. It’s a welcome additional component to the music.” – Decibel Magazine on “The Timekeeper”