Automaton is a mix of steampunk, power metal and old school Iron Maiden from Covington, KY via parts unknown. They are a group of men who definitely dress the part playing double duty as musicians and fictional fantasy characters. A Bold New Horizon signals their first release as the Ionian/Rekelarian saga begins. Duncan Batchworth III vocal’s range from Di’Anno to Dio with a touch or two of Ripper Owens. His bandmates/The Airship ‘Initiative’ crew include: Luther Meade-guitars, drummer and mechanic James O’Brian, bassist Isaac Grimwood (the stowaway) and Professor Markus Wolverhampton on guitars.
They throw a party like nothing on this side of aviation. Story-telling done read along record style but with family cover-ups, betrayal, hijacking, murder, a jail break, ending in escalating war, all for a noble righteous cause. That’s part one, told by heralding vocals, power guitars, plot thickening drums and word-flowing bass.
The lyrical/storyline setting of Automaton is a fictional alternate world where there are two nations bitterly divided. Ionia is a freshly industrialized strong nation of aristocrats surrounded by the large and tribal colony of Rekelar. Ionia cannot control Rekelar and out of disdain print The Azimuth, a propaganda spouting newspaper used to cover up the toxic waste dumps on the countryside. Duncan Batchworth III is the heir to The Azimuth’s media empire and doesn’t agree with his father’s practices, so he hires the press to run a new issue and deliver in mass to Rekelar exposing the corruption. With information compiled by Ionian professor Dr. Markus Wolverhampton, who joins the adventure, they join the Airship Initiative.
They deliver the newspaper across the Ionian border, but are ambushed and shot down. The surviving crew hides to regroup and finish the delivery. They return to Ionia on a covert mission to rescue a group of Rekelarian resistance fighters from a prison and hijack a new airship. The rebels learn that Rekelar is responding to the news with a full-scale war and a newly finished war-forged machine called the Automaton, and they’ve already begun marching toward the Ionian border city. To be continued…..
“The Issue at Hand” begins with son turning on father, tired of the lies and cover ups promoted by the paper, declaring, the truth must be told. The “Age of the Smokestacks” starts with a Bruce Dickinson-like howl as Batchworth’s plan goes airborne. “Run It” Batchworth commands as treason-esque truth and future-reactive rebellion drip from the headlines. It’s “Hot off the Press” as Duncan channels Di’Anno with news that will infuriate his homeland and inspire the ‘enemy.’ “Aether Flare” and “Convalescence” chronical the outbound Ionian attack on the vessel and damaged escape to Rekelar. “Stand and Be Counted” the headlines never lie, when they tell the truth. Their gonna need a bigger blimp.
Stand out track “Outspoken Dignity” plays out the blood shed for the truth and the traitors for a good cause. “Quick Cache,” they are locked and loaded for a jailbreak. Tonight there’s gonna be trouble. “Maverick” channels a bit of the Kurt Brecht DRI vibe, while “Journey Man” is bass heavy. “Thirsty Thirty” raises a drink to the brothers and prisoners of the brave crew. A toast and cheers to the almighty brew, ending with a bit of reggae and a circle pit mosh friendly tune. “Thirst for Ionian Blood” the Rekelars seek revenge bringing forth the “Rise of the Ruined Nation” and the weapon of mass destruction and terrible power “The Construct.”
A Bold New Horizon out March 21st serves as a kick start for a much bigger story as they plan to broaden their world through multiple releases including albums, comics and other in production media. This could be considered the beginning of the steampunk version of Operation Mindcrime. Though their version of Dr. X and Sister Mary may yet be determined.
Album may be pre-ordered March 12th here .