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Drown in the Doom! - 90%

caspian, February 26th, 2008

Saturnalia Temple are a rather excellent band that could best be described as 'Electric Wizard covering Electric Wizard', or something along those lines. Basically get an Electric Wizard album, make it twice as slow and then add huge amounts on unnecessary bass frequencies, and you've got this band.

I'm probably the only person who actually thinks that that's a good idea, but damn, this is a great formula and these guys execute it really well. Everything crawls along at a really slow pace, the huge (HUGE) guitars moving along like a huge, bassy glacier, the drums slowly creeping along, and everything is just huge and slow, just suffocating you with a super thick occult atmosphere until your brain just goes completely numb. The centerpiece of the album ('Ur', in case you didn't know) is probably the best example, with some seriously merciless riff repetition followed by some lame-but-sparse vocals, with the end result being a ridiculously hypnotic vibe that Sunn O))) would kill for.

It's a pretty simple formula, really, but it's just been executed almost flawlessly. Admittedly the vocals are pretty crap- the distorted w/echo vocals in particular are obnoxious and almost completely unnecessary- but everything else is done great, even the messy/out of time solos fit the vibe perfectly (Mount Meru is Tall being a good example). The sheer repetitiveness of the riffs verges on the sadistic- this is an album for only the most sedated doom heads- but the atmosphere is delivered flawlessly. It's a compliment to this band that it's pretty much impossible for me to write this review- listening to this music makes my brain completely numb, and it's hard not to drool everywhere in a state of hypnotised, catatonic bliss- which I guess is a good line for me to end this review on.