Register Forgot login?

© 2002-2019
Encyclopaedia Metallum

Best viewed
without Internet Explorer,
in 1280 x 960 resolution
or higher.

Privacy Policy

Emotional, Dark and Delightul. - 95%

TheZombieXecutioner, February 4th, 2013

Take a healthy dose of melodic guitar from Swedish death metal and then combine it with a metric ton of English doom/death. Alas you get an incredible formula for a wonderful band by the name of Saturnus. Based out of Denmark, Saturnus is very different from any other doom/death band. Particularly the use of melodic guitars along with serious and emotional atmosphere and lyrics. Seriousness isn't a bad thing to have in death metal, and Saturnus shows it can actually be done in a mature and creative fashion. Taking viscous growls of traditional death metal and infusing them with long melodic songs backed by strong drumming and an eerie atmosphere. Saturnus is a truly unique band and this album is able to show their ability to stand out from any other doom/death band.

First off, the atmosphere on this album is incredible. The chirping birds between each song and the snowy album cover gives the album a great feeling as if you are sitting beneath a snow covered pine tree in the winter. Mood is pretty hard to do in death metal and the band seems to pull it off with ease. The bird chirping also gives the album a feeling of completeness and flow. The melodic guitars and keyboards do a great deal of mood setting with either some hefty chords, powerful melodies or playing some really depressing leads that really bring the dread and sorrow and cast it wonderfully on this album.

Thomas Jensen provides some astounding vocals on this album with the voice of deranged yeti. Jensen's voice is monstrous and towers over the listener in this melodic masterpiece. Changing between a crushingly deep growl and a faint whispering voice throughout this record, it all happens to fit hand in hand. The harsh vocals are much like Chris Reifert's vocals on Autopsy's Mental Funeral but with 10X the thickness. "Paradise Belongs to You" and "I Love Thee" are some standout tracks for the perfectly timing roars and sinister vocals. Some great guttural screams are also shown at the appropriate times on "Astral Dawn" and "Pilgrimage of Sorrow" that make the intensity and atmosphere even more undeniable. On the other hand, Jensen's whispers are also very nice. Adding a nice subtle effect to the slower and quieter parts of the music like on title track and "Christ Goodbye". The lyrics are very sophisticated compared to death metal standards are actually elegant and well written. "I Love Thee" has some fantastic lyrics that tell of taking your love to the forest to make love. Most of the tracks center around death, loss and sadness, while the music and vocals provide a great platform for the lyrics to be shown on. Jensen has a great voice and the lyrics to accompany make them even better. Jensen's singing makes this album pleasurable to any traditional death metal fan or fans of doom.

The guitar work, provided by Kim Larsen, is exceptional as well. Centered around melodic melodies and riffs, Larsen is able to make a great atmospheric riff and make it sound as if two guitars are playing instead of one. "Pilgrimage of Sorrow" and "The Underworld" show some fantastic melodic doom riffing that is rather intoxicating. These haunting riffs are very delicate and played with a lot of emotion, which is what makes the guitar work so great. Other than melodic riffing, some heavy riffs are scattered here and there to keep the listener interested on tracks like "The Underworld" and "Christ Goodbye". The riffs are crushingly heavy (especially on "The Underworld") and provide some variety in this melodic dominant album. The shortest track on the album, "The Fall of Nakkiel" is a rather interesting one. Abandoning all signs of death metal and focusing on an acoustic guitar with whispered male and female vocals lurking in the background with a flute dancing about. This is a nice touch to the album and brings a lot of depth to the album as a whole. As for the acoustic work, it is nothing less of magic. Playing some enticing arpeggios with some multi tracked guitars humming in the back. The closing track "Lament for This Treacherous World" also has a great acoustic part on the intro that really brings the album to a beautiful finish. Larsen is a skilled player and on this album he shows he thoughtful playing in the form of melodic melodies and heavy riffs that would please any metal fan.

The drumming on this album is also a great addition to this album. Jesper Saltoft on drums is able to keep a melodic feeling for over nine minutes per song while keeping the drumming interesting and skilled. Saltoft doesn't do anything technically inclined but instead provides fabulous mood and beats. "Astral Dawn" is a great track filled with some great beats, rolls and moody cymbal crashing to bring life to the music. The drum intro to "Christ Goodbye" is also a great drum beat that is very calm and soothing. In contrast "I Love Thee" shows Saltoft's ability to build suspense with cymbal crashes and rolls. The drum tone is also fantastic. Perfect volume and tone on everything on the kit and can cut right through the melodic riffs and make a statement if it needs to. As most drummers in death metal settle for extreme speed, Saltoft shows that speed isn't everything when you have a great drum tone to complement suspenseful rolls and crashes.

The bass playing on this record is brought by none other than Brian Hansen. Only standing out on a few tracks like, "The Underworld" and "Pilgrimage of Sorrow", Hansen is able to do a few standout lines himself. The bass tone is clear and audible through a reasonable amount of this record and can bring a wave of refreshment from the melodic mastering on guitar. Though the bass doesn't do anything too special, Hansen is able to keep the rhythm well and shine when he can.

Melodic death metal and doom go hand in hand on this record and can make an incredible atmosphere accompanied by melodic riffs, moody drumming and inhuman growls. This album is a fantastic addition to any death metal or doom/death fans collection and should be heard by anyone interested in hearing the more melodic side of doom/death.