There's a bug in the current version of the game that's adding lag to level transitions that I've heard will be fixed in the next patch. It might be related to that, although 5-7 seconds is way longer than I've been getting, mine just hangs for half a second and then goes.
I've had similar issues with the chapter title animations dragging on full settings. I switched to -lowdetail in the Steam console and it fixed it, but there's some underlying problem, because my brother's computer runs all the animations fine and he has much lower specs than me. Give lowdetail or a smaller resolution a try?
Stumped otherwise. Hope that helps.
I will try it...
Oh well, it doesn't appear a "loading icon", it freezes the game for 5-7 seconds... (Forgot to comment that on the first post)