Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Rings of Saturn-Embryonic Anomaly


I stumbled upon Rings of Saturn last summer on Spirit of Metal. I don’t remember exactly how I did, but I can remember that the name seemed really cool so I looked them up. Now I’m a huge tech death fan. And unlike some, I do appreciate the really crazy stuff like The Faceless, newer Decrepit Birth, and Brain Drill. My first tech death band was The Black Dahlia Murder (not too uncommon for most people). After that, I didn’t really discover any other tech death bands until 2009/2010 when I found bands like Arsis, Fleshgod Apocalypse, Decrepit Birth, The Faceless, Decapitated, Embryonic Devourment, and many others. But Rings of Saturn, they’re a completely different kind of technicality.

The first song I hear by them was Seized and Devoured. The song sounds like a broken arcade machine. I really didn’t like it, I thought I could handle the most technical music, but I had no idea this was even possible! I assumed that they used a drum machine and keyboards as the guitars. So I listened to the rest of the album and hated it, but for some reason I kept it on my computer.

Months had gone by and pretty soon, school started. I saw a flyer up for a show with a lineup of bands that I couldn’t possibly miss! Headlined by Decapitated, whom I had to miss when I went to 2010 Summer Slaughter because I had to leave early, so I HAD to go see them. The opening bands were Decrepit Birth, Fleshgod Apocalypse, Funeral Age, Rings of Saturn, and Blood & Thunder (an amazing local Seattle melodic death band). I’m already pretty familiar with all these bands except for Rings of Saturn. I gave the album another listen, and was greatly impressed. I saw them live at that show, was amazed, and instantly bought the CD.

Now I know that there are bands out there that actually try to be the fastest and most technical band in the world, and make really fast and technical noise that has no creativity, is just random notes being played as fast as the musicians can, and has no tempo. That’s what I initially thought of Rings of Saturn until I watched them perform in front of me. They are actually very tight and together, their bassist is amazing and plays a custom-made 7 string bass, and their vocalist is one of the best and deepest growlers I’ve ever heard.

I think I should say that their music isn’t constant high-pitched technicality. Although the words “tame” and “slow” don’t apply to any aspect of Rings of Saturn’s music, it’s not constant technicality. One of the unique things that Rings of Saturn does that isn’t common in the technical death area is slow and outstanding breakdowns, the kind that is found in deathcore. There is one breakdown in just about every song, so if you listen to at least four of the songs, you’ll know what I mean.

Their lyrical content is the signature science-fiction themes found in many bands all throughout the technical death genre. In case you were curious, some of the bands that also use that theme are Decrepit Birth, The Faceless, Dystrophic, and Origin. Rings of Saturn tends to stick to the extra-terrestrial/alien invasion side of things with a twist of blood and gore themes.

Overall, this is actually quite an impressive piece of work. I will warn you that it might take some getting used to. The album cover is pretty amazing and the band logo is one of the most creative I’ve seen in a while. My favorite song off this album is definitely Corpses Thrown across the Sky. This record gets 15/20.