“Ondrej’s stuff was clearly better than everyone else’s,” says Lithium Dawn’s drummer Matthew Benoit, recalling how he first became aware of the band’s singer and guitarist Ondrej Tvarozek.
The two met when they were posting musical ideas on message boards for nu metallers Korn at the turn of the millennium. At the time, the boards were a fertile breeding ground for bands, and they can still recall a cover of Korn single Blind that they put together during this period with “a guy from Sweden” called Tommy.
It was their first musical collaboration. They stayed friends and many years later, upon hearing a set of tracks that Tvarozek was working on, Benoit was able to persuade him to work them up for a proper release. “I just thought his songs were so cool that they deserved an actual full-on project,” he shrugs.
These tracks would form the backbone of their debut, Aion, which was a long time in the making. “All those songs were things Ondrej was posting on his SoundClick page, at around the time Misha [Mansoor] from Periphery was starting out on SoundClick,” recalls Benoit. “The song Soar goes back to, like, 2005.”
At the end of the day, all you can do is come back to the realisation that all you have is the present moment.
In terms of influences, some are obvious, some less so. As well as bands like Meshuggah, Tool and Porcupine Tree, they also namecheck Shpongle and psy-trance and reggae acts. As far as records go, one should come as no surprise: “I heard Periphery’s Juggernaut and really heard something I wanted as far as mixing fidelity was concerned,” says Tvarozek.
Thematically, the album came together after the band took a post-Aion camping trip to a national park that was free from light pollution. With the clear night sky above them, the members had an existential epiphany, which has greatly informed the new record.
|Ondrej Tvarozek (lead vocals, guitars, programming), Matt Benoit (drums, guitars, programming), Jens Marcelis (bass, guitars), Aaron Gage (strings, orchestration, vocals)|
|A Perfect Circle, Ashes Divide, Meshuggah|
|Tearing Back The Veil I: Ascension is out now|