Lithium - "Lithium"
By Austin Govella
Tiamat's heavy metal domination was pretty clear, so when
Johnny Hagel, Tiamat's other half, embarks in search of new sounds you're
probably not expecting Lithium's solid, rock-grounded electro arrangements.
Team Mr. Hagel with Carl Nilsson of Moth, one of Sweden's
leading industrial acts, and Lithium begin to make sense.
Johnny says his ambition was to "create industrial music
with a futuristic spirit."
It was the futurism that threw me. I guess I expected
Yes-esque prog rock key progressions over off-kilter electro rhythms. I was
The perfect meld of electro arrangements and rock
progressions makes Lithium stand out from the rest of the electro crowd. Not to
say Hagel and Nilsson purvey some kind of trite, pop-based electro rock. On the
contrary, Lithium's fresh turn at electro sounds original and entirely
underground, while still retaining enough accessibility to suggest future
success for the duo.
The demo's opener, Insect, buries the rock themes
beneath solid electro. Heavy guitar accents the rhythm - never burying the song
and well balanced against the key sequences. The female backing vocals sound
slightly off-key, but fit the song, regardless. Hagel's restrained vocals push
their way to the front.
The song-writing experience is clear: every element occupies
a distinct niche in the song. No unnecessary sounds clutter the listening
Failure follows, toning down the aggressive guitar in
favor of a more engaging melody that encourages you to sing along.
The seductive and hypnotic Ugly Friend finishes the
demo on a strong note. Hagel and Nilsson's song writing explores a consistent
style without lapsing into blocks of unnoticeable sound-a-like songs.
As half of Tiamat during their most successful period, the
albums Wildhoney and Clouds, Lithium should have no problem
swinging a record deal, so keep an eye out for an album. Overall, the demo's
production is a little stale, but the skills Hagel and Nilsson demonstrate tell
all there is to tell.
Post: Lithium, c/o
Johnny Hagel, Ballstavagen 202, 162 57 Bromma, Sweden