Saturnus – Saturn In Ascension (review)

posted by admin on May 2, 2016

Saturnus
Denmark
Doom/Death Metal
Cyclone Empire





Six years after their previously released album it seems the waiting is over as “Saturn in Ascension” is going to come out at the end of November. What remains to be seen is if it was worth the wait.


Saturnus is a band which needs no introduction, being active since 1991 and with an activity spanning over 19 years on the doom metal stage.The band made itself noticed with its live performances and the release of three full length albums – “Paradise Belongs To You”, “Martyre”, “Veronika Decides to Die”, which have been well received by the public.


“Saturn in Ascension” is their fourth full length album which, as mentioned earlier, comes out six years after their previous release in 2006. If I were to conceive a conspiratorial theory scenario, my first impression would be that the date of this album’s launch is not coincidental. As it’s launched at the end of 2012 it commemorates 20 years of Saturnus and if I were to make an association (Saturnus, Ascension) I’d say they don’t plan on stopping just yet.


“Litany of Rain” is the first track of the album, it’s beginning reminding me of the “Martyre” intro, “7″, most likely thanks to the chorus used on both tracks. A simple way to add weight to the sound, perhaps due to the associations made. The track goes on with heavy low toned riffs, Thomas’ voice being, as always, dominant. Right until the 4:30 minute, composition-wise, the track feels akin to a “journey” though the other three albums, after that minute the feeling that the sky is falling ensues. “Angelic” voices of the chorus, accompanied by heavy death-like riffs, crushing growled vocals and the lead guitar come together in some heartbreaking, sorrowful passages, two minutes of pure emotion. An amazing two minutes. These two minutes, I can honestly say, define the whole album as far as approach and composing goes, themes from this passage being present in other tracks of the album.


“Wind Tom”, the second track of the album, is also the track that gave me goosebumps back in Bucharest where it was for the first time that people attending could experience tracks from this new album. The guitar on this track is simply ground-shaking, it drops you to the ground reminding you what doom, and in this case, Saturnus, is all about. The definite star of this track is the guitar.


“A Lonely Passage” and “Call of the Raven Moon” are two other tracks with a more instrumental approach and they make use of folk, unplugged instruments, nature sounds, elements which we’ve also had a taste of on “Paradise Belongs To You”.


“Mourning Sun” and “Between” are classic doom/death tracks, with sorrowful guitar parts, heavy death riffs, Thomas’ typical growled vocals and a slow tempo, although “Between” is written with a little bit more complexity in mind.


“A Father’s Providence” has a more rhythmic beginning, introducing Gothic influences manifested through rhythm, background keyboard as well as composition, a resemblance to “Pretend” coming to mind. Towards the end the doom style regains its dominance as well as a fantastic guitar solo… oh yes, the guitar!


“Forest of Insomnia” is another track that managed to draw my attention, being one track I haven’t listened to before. It’s quite encouraging to stumble upon little gems like these. It’s the sort of typical doom/death sounds with a sustained rhythm, emotional passages (this time also accompanied by sorrow inducing guitar play) and the ever present growled vocals.


All I’ve said does not manage to capture the true essence of this album, and even if it would, it’s a work that demands listening.
Were six years necessary to come up with a new album? Probably not. While Saturnus did stick to the style that made them famous they did have ample time to work on the fine points of this latest release.
Was it worth the wait? A definite yes!


Rating 9/10





Track-list:
1. Litany of Rain
2. Wind Torn
3. A Lonely Passage
4. A Father’s Providence
5. Mourning Sun
6. Call of the Raven Moon
7. Forest of Insomnia
8. Between
9. Limbs of Crystal Clear (Bonus Track)


Links:
Saturnus Facebook Page
Cyclone Empire


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