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Automaton : Echoes of Mount Ida

Automaton's debut is highly recommended to anyone who appreciates creative, artistic and magical music.

Automaton - Echoes of Mount Ida Trailblazer Records, 2013 The info sheet mentions Automaton being heavily influenced by Sleep, the band. Now, shamefully I am not familiar with Sleep's music so you're being spared of those highly exhausting comparisons and debates regarding issues of originality or the lack thereof.

That being said, ’Echoes of Mount Ida’ is probably the biggest positive musical surprise I've had this year. Having no expectations what so ever about this album landing on my doorstep or even the knowledge about the very existence of the band behind this wonderful recording, you could only imagine how I felt when listening to this album for the first time and realizing this is probably the best Drone / Sludge/ psychedelic Doom record I have heard for a very long time.

And indeed it is a very good album, not because it abides to any particular style and executes it perfectly, but rather the opposite: the album has no particular style it’d zealously adhere to; each of the three long tracks is different than the others, but each is done with the utmost care, creativity and enthusiasm, yet with a form of laid-back nonchalance, what ultimately results in a unique recording that is very eclectic and extremely captivating, and in addition, it would probably appeal to almost any Doom aficionado out there due to its many facets and colourful eclecticism.

Hailing from the Greek capital of Athens, this quintet has been formed a couple of years ago and ‘Echoes of Mount Ida’ would be the band's maiden recording. For a rather young, 2-year old band with no serious biography to back it up, their debut album is a mature and profound piece of sonic art that's uncommon to encounter under these circumstances. It's a 33-minute long joyride through the album's three long tracks, conveying vivid, surreal, abstract and monumental soundscapes that are tantalizing due to their heavy psychedelic leaning; are hypnotizing due to their droning magnificence and captivating to the hilt due to the martial / tribal / ritualistic edge governing the best part of the tracks, utilizing wonderful, otherworldly percussions and progressive but also exceptionally robust rhythm section.

It starts with an ominous hardcore opening and it builds up, like roiling, gigantic thunder clouds, spewing forth heavy rhythm guitars and fat bass line, incessantly accompanied by this all-encompassing martial / ritualistic drumming that seems to be the dominant factor of the whole recording.

Barren yet surprisingly rich in sound and sonic colours, the basic, mountain-size riffs sweep everything and everyone with their massive, amplifier-wrecking energy into the abyss of the band's dark soul, like an aural avalanche of megalithic proportions that leaves no one a chance of survival.

Imagine Pantera, only a million times heavier and hundred-fold more atmospheric; add to it the album's inherent psychedelia factor - absolutely mesmerizing, hazy, progressive, Pink-Floyd-on-acid-like, ritualistic, bombastic and beyond-beautiful moments - and you've got yourself a treat; a space walk in the farthest reaches of the cold, dark yet sometimes colourful Universe.

This spacey, sludgy, post-Hardcore-ish excursion through the drone-drenched surreal gardens of psychedelic Doom is a transcendental experience like no other; with its enormous rhythm section, a plethora of guitar effects and a lot of that wah-wah going on, ‘Echoes of Mount Ida’ is an otherworldly joyride in its true meaning; as vast as the universe, as deep as the ocean and as dark as the human heart.

This album comes as highly recommended to anyone who appreciates creative, artistic and magical music.

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Reviewer's rating: 9/10


Tracklist :
1. Going Down
2. Beast of War
3. Breathe in Stone / Echoes of Mount Ida

Duration : Approx: 32 minutes

Visit the Automaton bandpage.

Reviewed on 2014-01-25 by Chaim Drishner
A Dream Of Poe - The Wraith Uncrowned
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