Whether people describe Lithium Dawn as progressive rock or progressive metal, the Californian band’s sound somewhere in between, neither suitably describes the sonic kaleidoscope that turns new album Tearing Back The Veil I: Ascension into one of the year’s major treats. Creating an emprise of aural imagination built upon a vast array of styles and flavours, band and album fascinate and enthral throughout their second full-length. The album’s canvas is certainly seeded in progressive adventure but from there it blossoms into an evolving adventure sure to excite fans of anyone from Karnivool and Tool to TesseracT and Opeth to Circles and Voyager, and that still barely covers all of the lures laid by the outstanding Tearing Back The Veil I: Ascension.
The successor to debut album AION of 2012, Tearing Back The Veil I: Ascension is the result of new growth and bolder invention fuelling the Lithium Dawn sound. Formed by multi-instrumentalist/vocalist Ondrej Tvarozek and drummer/programmer Matt Benoit, a pair who first met way back in 2004 on an online message board, the band released their first album to eager praise, it recorded with the help of new member bassist/guitarist Jens Marcelis. It was a potent start from which the band has impressively blossomed further, all the thick evidence there within their stunning new release.
The album opens with the track Tearing Back the Veil and instantly wraps ears in djent inspired predation aligned to flowing and suggestive keys spun by Aaron Gage. There is immediate drama to the start which never abates even as the track’s atmosphere becomes mellower yet cloudier and its air more sultry and exotic around the impressing tones of Tvarozek. That theatre also comes with a classic rock toning, a scent colluding with Porcupine Tree like elegance and Periphery like technical ferocity as the track evolves within the ears.
It is an enthralling and gripping opening to the album matched by the tantalising majesty of Ascension. Emerging straight out of the alluring breath of its predecessor, the song is quickly weaving into its creative agenda reggae spiced melodic and rhythmic temptation with pulsating echoes of dub ingenuity. Potently backed by the voice of Gage, Tvarozek quickly has ears bending the way of his inviting delivery whilst the senses become enveloped by the intimately haunting yet celestial ambience of keys and guitars. The track is an engrossing endeavour with creative snarls making another seriously enticing aspect to the crystalline character of the track.
The individual craft of the band is as stirring and impressive as the sonic poetry they cast and welcoming to additional enterprise like that of guest guitarist Sithu Aye who brings a gripping solo to Point of No Return. The song twists and turns as it seduces ears and imagination, the great volatility of its jagged scenery and imposing attitude perfectly merged with its harmonic heart and melodic tempting. Confrontational and seductively immersive in equal measure, the track is a tapestry of creative imagination and emotive exploration spun in a web of diverse flavours and tones. At times it is jazzy, in other moments an emotive croon, and at times even an aggressively imposing incitement, but from start to finish it simply beguiles.
An already happy appetite for the release is made greedier still by the following Decimator, a primal but majestic involvement of the senses which flows seamlessly through again contrasts in texture and sonic attitude to entice and thrill. Throughout it can be as bestial as a Meshuggah offering and as warmly seductive as an instrumental flight with Heights, and with another guest in Plini providing a potent solo, it powerfully intrigues and pleases before making way for the darker shadows and emotion of Selfcollapse. Immediately a hue of turbulence lines its opening tempting, gaining thicker persuasion as guitars and bass sculpt a tempestuous canvas for vocal flames and the mesmeric lure of keys to share the track’s evocative narrative upon. Again there is the sense of a predator to the nature and tone of the outstanding track, prowling and urging with invasive bait as a melodic haunting permeates thoughts and emotions.
The pair of Synchronicity, with its otherworldly serenade, and the lively lapping of the senses that is Tidal keep ears and pleasure full with their unique natures and imaginative portraits in sound whilst Spires cradles the listener in melodic arms and inviting melancholic strings within another multi-coloured immersion of sound and ethereal temptation. All three absorb and transfix, successes matched by the mazy entangling of contrasting yet fluidly aligning textures and sonic colours that is Labyrinthian and after that by the mystique charged, sonically fiery B’ak’tun, which is set up firstly by the shamanic coaxing of short piece Incantation. As proven here and time and time again across the album, words only give a glimpse of the richness in sound and invention making up the tracks within Tearing Back The Veil I: Ascension, and as shown by B’ak’tun too, just when you think you have it all, another listen unveils a little more to the alchemy conjuring such intensively immersive incitements.
The album is brought to a close by the gentle romance on ears of Horizon and finally the brief atmospheric grumble of Edge of the Earth, confrontation and beauty merged for a closing instrumental exploration. It sums up the whole album, contrasting tones and layers wrapped in evocative expression to spark mind and body into full involvement.
To simplify it all, Tearing Back the Veil I: Ascension is a gorgeous album; one demanding of your time and concentration but rewarding with one of the year’s biggest triumphs.
Tearing Back the Veil I: Ascension is out now @ http://lithiumdawn.bandcamp.com
Pete RingMaster 09/12/2015
Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright
For more exploration of the independent and promotional services check out http://www.zykotika.com/