The Schoenberg Automaton
is quite a seemingly lengthy title for a band, as well as a strange one. It literally translates out as a self-operating mechanism named after famous Austrian composer Arnold Schoenberg. However, as well as it is odd, it also fits with the technical death metal and deathcore that the quintet has to show to its audience: Mathematical and wondrously odd. The band started to take off with this sound since forming in 2009 from Brisbane, Australia, where members of other acts such as Empyrean
and Function Cease joined in. Late 2010 saw the release of the band’s first self-titled EP under Myriad Records, where the three tracks are not only chaotic and very enjoyable, but also show that the quintet had a lot of potential under their belts. Later, in early 2013, the group released their debut full-length record simply entitled “Vela.” The Schoenberg Automaton
has made its return, this time with ten tracks loaded, to crush listeners with an onslaught of progressive and technical modern death metal.
The musicianship, within all of its elements, is excellent. The vocals range effortlessly from brutal growls to aggressive roars to wicked high-pitches. They are diverse in their attack, and it is demonstrated nicely in “Vela” without overdoing it. The guitars also are done incredibly, which also possess a great range stretching from heavy riffs to very rapid-fire and complex licks, providing a great balance to keep the audience intrigued by its chaos. They are very explosive and enticing in their complexity, melodies, and heavy moments, and they certainly do serve as one of the album’s greatest highlights. The drums also play their part greatly, retaining solidity and legitimate structure while being able to go into technical rapid-fire mode without sounding jumbled. The sound production is crisp, but makes the instrumentalism sound natural and potent as well. Overall, the vocals and instruments, mixed in with some solid production, do more than hold up well in this effort.
Like the preceding EP, “Vela” is packed with a potent metallic mix of technicality, progressiveness, and brutality, and it is done very well. The music overall is solidly structured, and the same thing for the drums can be said for the band’s metallic assault here: It balances perfectly between solidity and complexity, and it pretty much never overdoes it on either side of the spectrum. The formula itself doesn’t necessarily break any true molds for the modern death metal realm, but nonetheless, it is done excellently. All aspects of the musicianship described earlier individually shine on their own, yet combine to create a stellar musical effort mixed in with the rock-solid structures and potent formula. Another thing that this stellar effort should be praised for is its surplus of very gripping moments, worthy of repeating over and over again on your MP3 players or radios. The music overall does not compromise solidity for technicality, a common pitfall for technical death metal and deathcore bands nowadays, and the end result is some great and very solid technical and progressive death metal with some punchy quirks to go along with it.
In regards to the lyrical content, don’t let the rather goofy song titles fool you; the lyrics found in this album are quite scientific in the topics they are based on. They focus on lyrical themes of technology and human logic and existence. Although a typical subject focused on lyrically by modern progressive and technical metal bands today, they are rather provocative and interesting to read, and they match the complex style of the music perfectly. Another thing that fits well with the chaotic tracks of “Vela” is the simple but cybernetic album cover. In terms of both the lyrics and artwork, The Schoenberg Automaton
succeeds as well as they do with their powerful tech metal tracks.
After an EP that had a great load of potential in its wake, “Vela” proved to be a stellar follow-up. The musicianship alone is great, from the wicked vocals to the explosive guitar work to the potent drum play. On top of that, the technical metal that this album conjures up is gripping and solid as it is complex in terms of structure without losing flow. The lyrics are also rather intriguing to simply read off the paper, and the album cover is cool to look at, so these two elements serve as icing to the cake. Overall, “Vela” is not necessarily a perfect record, since, as stated earlier, it does not necessarily stand out of the technical or progressive deathcore crowd as an entity of its own, but even so, the band certainly does it incredibly well. Fans of the band’s preceding EP will find a lot to like in this album, and fans of well-crafted technical and progressive death metal will certainly enjoy it. From all of this, it’s rather official that The Schoenberg Automaton
has made a fine release.
Originally posted on: http://metaljerky.blogspot.com/