LITHIUM     Debut Album:  no title or record company have been decided yet     www.all.at/lithium 
recorded in the Modern Art Studio (Therion "Secret of the Runes"), produced by Johnny Hagel/Carl Nilsson and mixed by Sami Karpinen (former Therion drummer)
A late 2002 release through an as-yet-undetermined label is expected
review by Dalia "Gryphon_spirit"
Question: do you remember Sundown? Ah I'm sure many of you do know this band who released Design 19 (practically a cult album) and supported Paradise Lost during their European tour in the year 1997. Second question: do you know Tiamat? Ahh yes!! I supposed! and obviously many of you have appreciated productions like "Clouds" and "Wildhoney". OK, if you have answered with "yes,sure" to both questions, you know very well who Johnny Hagel is. On the contrary those (very few I hope) who have answered "no, have no idea" should revise just a little bit the near past of a musical genre that has given so much contribution to the scene. And even if is Paradise Lost, Sundown and Tiamat are not their genre I suggest anyway more than a superficial listening of these acts, so just to oblige!. 
So Johnny Hagel (ex Sundown and Tiamat), together with vocalist Carl Nilsson and Nico Pedersen, is very engaged now in this project that shows already up being the big revelation of the industrial/electro-metal branch, without forgetting the goth connections. Eh yes: industrial /electro goth music, cause Hagel methinks has the intention to go beyond the heritage received by his precedent bands, bringing their musical ideas and his dark feelings towards a definitely futuristic direction. And if some of you, dear readers, ar beginning to think: "Ah no! vade retro "disco" music", well I reply: no you are wrong! cause swedish Lithium don't forget the more typical rock elements and the hard guitars. Lithium's music is not a merely pop-oriented electro rock. There is originality, sperimentation, and above all an absolutely dark esthetism. Nor are Lithium merely future electro, cause they are not VNV Nation. Obviously many influences deriving from bands of the dark and electro scene are to be found in this work, but this is a positive factor and however ,like already mentioned, roots are not forgotten. For the rest, in this 11 tracks  CD the mainly industrial/electro-metal soundscape reigns but with a great synthesis between electronics and metallic guitar tones.
This synthesis finds an optimal balance in the opener track Anti Anthem: I personally like very much this track, cause it shows really heavy guitars, an intelligent catchy refrain, industrial environment but not too extreme, an agreeable song to bang your head, to dance, that is offering to you the right syntony, an interesting voice, much electronics which sound really metallic anyway, well balanced by guitars.
Gloomy opening but then catchy development for Isolation, with a light industrial proceeding, mysterious backsounds la gothic with some Tiamat and Paradise Lost flavours, good loops: "I am the agony, I am the tragedy I am the one you fear..."
A gothic touch, heavy guitars and an intriguing piano sound for Cold, that shows a melodic, slow, intence proceeding, superb bass tones: a really immense song, that (maybe with another arrangement) could be the envy of many bands that play a canonic gothic metal. It lasts 7:19 but it is so worth as gold this time. Very beautiful. Dark and meaningful are the lyrics too. It reaches straight mind and soul.
Faster is Hidden Walls which shows  great catchy rhytmics, danceable.
"Ugly Friend", grave and mysterious, obsessive, with seductive gothic proceeding,there is an heaviness that in well determinated intervals bursts in: This track is mixing rhythm with atmosphere, with hypnotic moments, could be included without any worries in the sound track of the "Queen Of The Damned" movie.
Again rhythm and rhythm in Insects, which gives us well inserted female backing vocals, a great multilayers electronic soundscape, heavy guitars with bass sounds. Every element is so well balanced and we can also find a piano sound solo  moment, and a touch of recurrent hypnotic electronic trail. At the end it leaves a kind of strange synthetic taste in mouth and brain.
Gloomy, sad rather slow coordinates for "Never be the same" that, it will be merely suggestion of mine, but, I don't know, it reminds me some not well defined Paradise Lost (a little bit Host? a little bit BIN? something of their precedent production?), deep voice which doesn't sound affected anyway, the whole thing dressed with severe goth influences. A kind of mysterious and obscure electro goth "crossover" with heavy bursts and hypnotic chords.
Over again presents solid and impending electronics and not too heavy industrial sounds, it provokes a sensation of metropolitan solitude. 
Extremely aggressive , fast electronics for Hero in Paradise, maybe the only song I don't like at all, it seems to me a kind of punk- electronics that suddenly after 1:46 min violently change tempo for a slower hardness and then again it takes the same initial speed and chaotic-like construction. I don't deny that there is much work and experimentation in it and that this song will find its admirers , but this track goes beyond my personal tastes. 
Much better Failure, with its square machine attacks, its nervous and convulse heavy guitars, its aggressive and strong determination.
The last song Alone begins with impressive synthetic sounds and develops dark, almost scary and alienated electronic sounds.
Well this album is great in its genre, it will be loved or hated, no escape from this conclusion. And this is what makes a work extremely interesting and controversial. This album will be a "must to have" for all lovers of industrial and electronic sounds and electronic riffs in general, a must to have for all who want to experience a new musical dimension, mevermind which genre they prefer, a must to have for all gothic ones that wonder how will normally sound their beloved goth music maybe in fifty- hundred years, a must to have for all who are seduced by computers, technology, electronic and artificial evolution of human (and maybe less human) mechanisms. A "must to keep fingers away" for all who are irremovable pure heavy, death , black metallers, or (yep!) nu metallers, for all that moan: how beautiful were the '70s!, and for all who tend to be narrow-minded.

Dalia "Gryphon_spirit" Di Giacomo

Niederrohrdorf - Switzerland Impressum