High Priest Of Saturn
Svart Records 2013
One of the most impressive demos I have heard in the recent past was from Norwegian doom mongers, High Priest Of Saturn. So it was with great anticipation that I awaited their debut album. Let's just say I was not disappointed. The four track album takes the two compositions from their demo and adds two new tracks to flush out a full album. Starting with Protean Towers, a massive crusher with riffs that rise like cyclopean monoliths and warped keyboards to add to the psychedelic atmosphere. The female vocals are so monotone as to add a ritualistic angel to the music. When they are all combined, a truly ominous and foreboding aura pervades the music. There is a extremely old and sinister air in the songwriting and I am reminded of The Wounded Kings at times. Kraken Mare, plods along like the determined march of a golem, seeking revenge. The synths seem to focus the unforgiving power of the song into a sharply vengeful, yet ceremonial aim. The riffs throb and vibrate while the synths warble with a tripped-out witchery and the female vocals seem to be harbingers of impending doom. The track Crawling King Snake shudders with a sorrowful foreboding that is inescapable. Merethe's vocals are hypnotic and sultry as they entrance you with the spell she is weaving. The other new track is On Mayda Insula. It's languid, swaying riffs curl like smoke from a pipe in the dry summer air. An unhurried guitar solo weaves it way through the forest of massive riffs while 70s sounding organ synths paint a backdrop of dark, billowing clouds. Merethe's vocals continue to ensnare you within their verbal web. High Priest Of Saturn is one of the heaviest bands on the horizon these days, crushing all current doom bands beneath the extreme weight of their riffs and freezing them all within a haze of foreboding doom. I know it's early yet, but High Priest Of Saturn have produced one of my albums of the year. The album is a pure psychedelic communion with the impending apocalypse. Let the dread and doom overtake your soul.