Genre: Deathcore / Technical Death Metal
Label: Nuclear Blast
Rings of Saturn are a quite peculiar case in extreme metal, mostly due to the uniqueness of their music. Hailing from the notorious Californian Bay Area and with a bit changed lineup, those quirky –musically speaking- bastards, decided to record and release some new material for us. “Ultu Ulla” is the fourth album of the band and it was released on July 28th via Nuclear Blast. In fact, this is the band’s first release with the label.
Rings of Saturn, loyal to their main basis, they mix their known Deathcore approach with Technical Death Metal and seal the deal with spacey melodies, some cosmic, extra terrestrial-ly ambience in the background, thus making the group kings of this Aliencore genre (a term used initially jokingly by the band, however it’s actually the best fitting term yet). Sci – fi themes are found in both lyrics and compositions, so everything goes hand by hand, creating an unearthly atmosphere / experience, despite the aggression of the actual music. A lot of breakdowns and alternations of the rhythms can be found frequently, as well.
Rings of Saturn’s music can be a bit of awkward at times; at some points I got lost, as I couldn’t figure out what the band was aiming for, while there were some interludes and some other weird acoustic guitar moments that really messed with my mind. My thoughts were perplexed each time I listened to the record. On one hand, I kept thinking ‘one more of these riffs and I’ll start laughing’. I don’t know why, I felt they are still childish and don’t take things seriously. On the other hand, the band really stepped up its game, sounded more mature and more thoughtful towards their compositions. It’s easy to realize why I was flustered most of the times. What really pushed my frustration further was the fact that I felt like the band was repeating itself after the first 5 tracks, so I easily got bored.
Even though the group’s musical expression is not my cup of tea – although there are great exceptions of the rule – I was entertained. Setting aside the aforementioned negative points, Rings of Saturn emit a raw energy that gets your blood pumping, although I truly believe it’s not a record that will win the bet of time. I don’t know if we’re gonna talk about it in a few months time.
The ranking is saved by the fact that surely the band went a few steps forwards, meliorating its structures and general outcome, while creativity was at high levels, judging by the addition of more synths, timbrels and so on. Certainly Rings of Saturn are one of a kind, howbeit didn’t make that much of impression to me.