Lithium Dawn: AION

Another brilliant back-bedroom prog rock project takes flight.

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Djent is one of the more fascinating, heavy-edged movements in progressive rock of late. Lithium Dawn’s self-recorded, self-released album falls on the borderline between that new genre and progressive touchstones like Perfect Circle, Porcupine Tree, Deftones and Tool. It’s testament to the musical quality here that the only major criticism to level at AION is that the artwork’s unconvincing.

The moment that Ondrej Tvarozek’s vocals enter on Status it’s clear that a rare talent is making their first statement of intent.

Ambitious, riff-heavy tracks like Perpetual Loss and Freefall recall Dream Theater at their best, while Soar (Through The Ash And Fire) hints at Billy Howerdel’s complex yet melodic work as Ashes Divide, and underlines just what a phenomenal singer Tvarozek is.

An unexpected highlight is the near-ballad Oblivion, central to the apocalyptic concept of the album. ‘What’s it going to take for the world to be broken in two?’ their singer cries earnestly, as a hurricane of sound rushes under his vocal.

AION is a truly incredible achievement, all the more so given Lithium Dawn’s status as an unknown, unsigned band.