Thursday 21 August 2014

Becoming The Lion - Automa (Album Review)

Album Type: Full length
Date Released: 12/7/2014
Label: Self Released

Automa” DD track Listing:

  1. We Were Build Not Born
  2. Dawn Emergence
  3. Fighting Through Cognizance
  4. Raining Ashes
  5. Defiance
  6. Preceding Silence
  7. One to Fall, One Hundred to Transcend
  8. We're All Just Machines in the End

An instrumental ambient/experimental/progressive/metal one man band project from Grayslake Illinois started in 2010 by Ross Blomgren. Originally titled Lambs become Lions, this is his third release as Becoming the Lion.

The Band:

Ross Blomgren | All instruments
Ashley Rodriguez | Guest Vocals


Soaring melodies soaring over chugging riffs abound on ‘Becoming the Lion’'s new release “Atoma.” A well executed mostly instrumental album, it touches on a bunch of different influences throughout it's length. Definitely for fans of the Cloudkicker/Russian Circles school of instrumental metal, but what sets this album apart is some cool aesthetic choices. Such as including some solid female wordless vocals which I haven't heard done since “Dark Side of the Moon” (although not as crazy sounding as that chick, who sorta sounds like she's having an aneurism, but still very cool!).

The production on the album isn't quite as raw as Russian Circles newer stuff, but maintains a nice balance and all the instrumentation can be clearly heard throughout. The guitar tone and playing is pretty excellent throughout as well. One thing that especially differentiates from Russian Circles/Cloudkicker type bands is the guitar tone sounds a lot tighter and more Meshuggah sounding in parts, particularly during the first minute or so of the second track ‘Dawn Emergence’ and the fifth track ‘Defiance’. Going with the heavier rhythm sound gives Becoming the Lion a very different feel than almost every instrumental band I've heard. The only other instrumental band I can think of with that tone is Tempel on their album “On the Steps of the Temple” which is also a very fantastic album but could literally not be more different.

The excellent 6th track ‘Preceding Silence’ has a really cool jazzy break just in the right spot on the album to nicely interrupt the flow with unexpected electronic drumming and some slick leads. This is an excellent album and along with the aforementioned Tempel album, this is a contender for best instrumental album of the year no doubt. Favorite tracks ‘Dawn Emergence’ and ‘Preceding Silence’. In addition, it appears as if Becoming the Lion is just starting to book and play shows, so if you are in the Illinois/Wisconsin border region be sure to check them out!

Words By: Chris Tedor

Availiable for free digital download from here!

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