Sunday, 23 November 2014

Rings of Saturn - Lugal Ki En (Album Review)


Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 14/10/2014
Label: Unique Leader Records

‘Lugal Ki En’ CD/DD/LP track listing:

1) Senseless Massacre
2) Desolate Paradise
3) Lalassu Xul
4) Infused
5) Fractal Intake
6) Natural Selection
7) Beckon
8) Godless Time
9) Unsympathetic Intellect
10) Eviscerate
11) The Heavens have Fallen
12) No Pity for a Coward (Suicide Silence cover)

Bio:

A cataclysmic, relentless nearly forty-five-minute display of the most vicious, sci-fi obliteration from RINGS OF SATURN to date, Lugal Ki En fuses cosmic, otherworldly elements into a forward-thinking form of malevolent death metal/deathcore inundation. A conceptual release based on a story in which the Aliens wage war on the angels and demons of the universe after having conquered humanity Lugal Ki En was produced by Brette Ciamarra at Studio 344 (Kamikabe, Those Who Fear, Trophies) in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The custom cover artwork was commissioned to Mark Cooper of Mind Rape Art, who also crafted the art for the band’s seminal Dingir album.

Comments guitarist, Lucas Mann of the album concept, “The concept of the album in a nutshell is that long after the Aliens conquer humanity, they evolve to a point where they transcend space, time and reality to take their conquest into the realm of the gods where they wage war on angels and demons. The album title Lugal Ki En translates from ancient Sumerian cuneiform to mean ‘King Of The Earthlings, Lord Of The Cosmic World.’ The Sumerian cuneiform is visible behind the English pronunciation of the album title.”

Rings of Saturn is:

Ian Bearer | vocals
Lucas Mann | guitars, bass, synths
Joel Omans | guitars

Personnel

Aaron Kitcher | drums
Rusty Cooley | guest solo on "Infused"
Brette Ciamarra | production
Mark Cooper - artwork

Review:

When approaching death metal, it’s always best looking for those that seek to distinguish themselves by either technical prowess or overall creativity. Rings of Saturn cuts out the problem by having a technical sound matched by a badass sci fi fetish, making it a great release for this late in the year. The new album is entitled ‘Lugal Ki En’, and is a concept album of a race of hyper advanced aliens who start a space war with Heaven and Hell, and the sound is Tech Death. The apocalypse is shreddy indeed...

The album opens with no let up at all, so they just come at you with blast beats and insane guitar sounds, so hold them responsible if your sanity is lost within these sonic depths. Every song is very unique, so highlights are honestly sprinkled liberally throughout. They have a massive sound, with blast beats and kicks from hell itself, all bounced together with blazingly fast guitar taps and sweeps. It's what the inevitable tech apocalypse will sound like, and it will be brutal. The vocalist is all grunt and pig squeal, a la Pathology. It's perfect for the extreme sound they peddle, and non-metal fans will think you have demons fighting inside your car.

If I had to pick something to recommend, to understand the balance struck in this album, the instrumental ‘Fractal Intake’ coupled with the following song, ‘Natural Selection’, make for a wonderful combination to get a feel for where this album is headed.  The sound on ‘Natural Selection’ is a bit more Meshuggah than Pathology, and so might appeal to a different audience as well, having off time signatures, but that familiar bass thrum in the background. It's wonderfully done.

The entire album is topped of by extremely good artwork, depicting the alien hordes being directed, en masse, by what looks to be a vastly higher beings than what we are given experience to. And a parting note: this band has been subject to scrutiny, based on the fact that it's not completely human playing. Most of the music is programmed. The drumming is a great highlight of this; this is not to be held against the album, unless you're a purist of human sound. The album is heavy, it's interesting, and it has merit for being a solid slab.

Give it a chance and see if you’re not beating your thigh along with some of these tracks!

Words by: Hunter Young

You can pick up a copy here

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