The frustrating truth about most progressive metal is that it relies on established formulae, rather than actually, y’know, progressing. As a result, Lithium Dawn’s second album Tearing Back The Veil 1: Ascension, with its blend of ultra-modern, post-djent atmospheres and all manner of unexpected elements – ranging from cinematic orchestration to bowel-rattling digital dub reggae – sounds both distinctive and prescient.
“We meld all of our influences and we don’t stick to a script,” explains frontman Ondrej Tvarosek. “It’s not deliberate. We just let things flow naturally and we’re open to taking unexpected turns. It never made much sense to limit ourselves.”
We don’t stick to a script and we’re open to taking unexpected turns
It’s the inclusion of those dub reggae tropes that contribute most to the new album’s air of alien ingenuity. Reggae remains largely untouched by heavy music (and yes, Skindred have certainly done their bit), but somewhat against the odds, the results of Lithium Dawn’s skilled cross-pollination sound like the most natural of hybrids.
“After our first album, AION, came out, we began to get into more experimental music,” says Ondrej. “We got really into Shpongle and OTT, who are two of the biggest psy-dub/psy-trance pioneers. Their approach pushed our sound forward. We pursued that direction and harnessed it.”
The science of writing original music is not the only thing that drives Lithium Dawn. There’s a profound message lurking within their genre-defying soundscapes too.
“If I had to pick one lyric to define the overall message it would be ‘Here is where you are’ from the song Horizon,” Ondrej notes. “Sometimes we need to be reminded that no matter how caught up we get in future plans or past failures, the present moment is really all we have.”
Tearing Back The Veil I: Ascension is available now via Bandcamp and iTunes