Plucked straight from the mystic realms of symphonic darkness, the Reading based band Saturnian leave us with just a single record from their short four year lifespan. Fans of Dimmu Borgir, Old Man's Child and Aeons Confer will rejoice in these Britons classy execution of the sound the Norwegians pioneered and popularized. Sharp, crisp Black Metal fused with the wondrous sounds of astral symphonies give us a rich experience with all the hallmarks, including a helping of clean vocals breaks and keyboard led interludes. There are no surprises here, just quality songs performed and recorded like the best of them do it.
And so the album unfolds with a temperate pacing, a measured consistent intensity. The drums batter away with pacy blast beats and plenty of double pedal rolls as they continually shift between the common beats of this sound. Its involved, always having a hand in steering the direction but never feels to upfront, a good balance for the overall feel. Its the keys and guitars that steal the show. They have a formative chemistry, the guitars shred out tremolo leads and linear grooves while the airy synths enrich the atmosphere, however at any moment either can jump into focus as the driving melody of the music with orchestral symphonies and blazing solos.
The raspy, scowling vocals aren't much to be desired, more of something Ive become accustom too, they taunt at the forefront of the sound with little sinking in. Its the choral chants of burly men and the effeminate clean vocals that are most illuminating for the music as a whole. Its expansive melodic sections leaning into Gothic territory in brief moments very akin to fellow Britons Cradle Of Filth. In summary its simply a great record exploring a well established sound. It brings nothing new to the table but that doesn't stop it from being very enjoyable and engrossing.