Thursday, March 7, 2013

The Schoenberg Automaton - Vela

When I was compiling my list of top albums from last year I noted that similarly to 2011, 2012 was a pretty great year all around and both years saw some pretty monstrous deathcore releases.  Now we’re barely a quarter of the way into 2013 and I already can tell I’m going to have trouble narrowing down the list this year.

Here to help make things harder is The Schoenberg Automaton, who have recently recently released their debut album Vela. If you didn’t do any research you might find it hard to believe this is the bands’ debut record. I still have trouble believing it. The technical prowess and writing abilities displayed on this album place these guys worlds ahead of plenty of other well established bands in the genre. Schoenberg’s blend of mathcore and progressive deathcore makes for a wonderfully chaotic and immense sounding album. They expertly divulge us with more technical death metal blasts of sound and then head into a quick breakdown riff, then back into a bombardment of rhythms; And while it may sound like they are trying to pack too much into a song, it somehow works incredibly well. Nothing feels too jarring, everything flows rather well actually; in fact it ends up being more enjoyable for these jarring changes to exist in their music.

The band can be in a full on barrage of sound one second and instantly break into a calmer, yet oddly tense sections, that suddenly burst us back into the fray as quickly as they came. The leading single ‘Ghost Of Mirach’ is a wonderful example of this, where the band takes on a somewhat jazzy interlude halfway through the track. This type of things happens pretty frequently, with time spent in these breaks varying throughout. There is one track in particular ‘Stopping A God Mid-Sentence’ that is a true interlude in that it’s entirely composed of this downbeat pseudo jazzy material, and it’s one of my favorite moments on the album for the neat inclusion of Orson Welles’ War of the Worlds radio broadcast.

The atmosphere they’ve established on this album is fantastic. It feels like a doomsday soundtrack, and with the dystopian sound clips added in from the likes of Half-Life 2 and a that good portion of the original broadcast of War Of The Worlds thrown in, as well as a few other sound bites, it makes for a really vibrant atmosphere.

I know I’m leaning a bit heavily towards being a fanboy in my review for this album. There’s truthfully though nothing I don’t enjoy about this album. I wouldn’t call it perfect, but there’s nothing bad I can think of that is truly worth noting. It’s pretty hard not to gush about this album. Schoenberg have crafted something fresh and incredibly well written here. I’m almost 99% sure that this album will end up on my top albums list this year. These guys have started off their career with a true bang, and I hope they’re given the chance to continue writing together.

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