Lithium Dawn: Tearing Back The Veil I: Ascension

Two albums in, the US progressive metallers get their groove on.

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Wielding their seven- and even eight-string guitars, Lithium Dawn are a pretty niche proposition. Their riffs and atmospherics never fully stray into metal screaming or the seriously uptempo riffage of their djent contemporaries.

Instead, on their second album Lithium Dawn subtly nod to everything from glitch electronica to reggae and electronic dub, most notably on the track Tidal. Combine this with a strong Meshuggah vibe and vocalist Ondrej Tvarozek’s barely restrained power (akin to Maynard James Keenan’s, in A Perfect Circle mode) and the group’s DNA is clear: the groove metal syncopation permeating every rhythm guitar and drum lock is at the very core of what they’re about. The album’s title track is probably the best introduction to their sound, but the single Decimator, with its soaring guest solo from Plini, would be a close second. There are some welcome changes of pace – Synchronicity and Spires have a more dynamically varied structure that recalls softer moments of their debut LP, Aion – yet the intensity rarely lets up. It’s a hard record to digest in one go, but for those with the patience to unravel it over repeat listens, there’s a lot to love here.