Saturday, 28 February 2015

Saturnalia Temple - To The Other (Album Review)

TO THE OTHER cover art

Album Type: Album
Date Released: February 23rd 2015
Label: Listenable Records/The Ajna Offensive

To The Other– Track Listing

1.INTRO 01:19
2.ZAZEL SORATH 06:07
3.TO THE OTHER 08:51
4.SNOW OF REASON 08:01
5.MARCH OF GHA'AGSHEBLAH 05:23
6.BLACK SEA OF POWER 07:33
7.CROWNED WITH SEVEN 05:31
8.VOID 05:16

Members

Tommie - Vocals, Guitar, Drums
Peter - Bass. Tim Call (live/studio drums US)
Kennet Granholm (live drums EU/RU)

Review:

Saturnalia Temple returns with their eagerly awaited 2nd album - To The Other. If you're a fan of Saturnalia Temple's music then you know what to expect. Bleak and desolate Doom/Stoner Metal music with hints of violent distorted Occult Rock to standout from the crowd. To The Other is full of heavy pounding riffs that capture the very essence of a band playing their own style of Doom/Stoner Metal.

Opening track - Intro + ZazelSorath - starts with an ambient drone passage with epic chants opening the bleak atmosphere before the album explodes into life with a heavy pounding bass guitar being played like there's no tomorrow. When a familiar Stoner based riff appears you can tell this album is going to be one very complex and dark ride. The vocals are from the Doom Metal world as lead vocalist adapts a more doom and gloom style of delivery. Match it with the heavy pounding Bass Guitar and you have one very unsettling affair that may put off less adventurous Stoner Rock/Metal fans. It sets up the scene for the rest of the album.

Saturnalia Temple venture into darker occult rock based environments with a warped psychedelic rock starting to take over especially on 2nd track - To The Other. To The Other is one of the albums standout tracks as the band adapts a more experimental feel to their music. The vocals are very hard to understand at times as it sounds lead vocalist once again proving he has a unique vocal delivery of his own. The music is firmly rooted within distorted Desert/Stoner Metal riffs with ambient based drones and noises providing a cold and thrilling affair. This album is a multi-layered sonic experience where nothing as it seems as Saturnalia Temple play tricks with your mind. So if you're not a fan of complex and progressive albums it maybe best to turn away now as the band are only warming up.

Up next is the epic 3rd track - Snow Of Reason - that starts with a heavy pounding drum beat with hints of distorted guitar worship that is largely influenced by the Doom/Stoner Metal scene but still maintaining a trippy and original experience of its very own. The instrumental work on the album is heavy and experimental through out as the band don't rely on gimmicks. This is a band that lives, breathe and bath in distorted and down-tempo psychedelia. Saturnalia Temple has been compared to a trippier and doomier version of Kyuss in the past. That's not really a fair comparison as they're two completely different bands. Sure they both play Stoner Metal. But that's where the comparisons end. Saturnalia Temple's style of Stoner Metal is more disturbing and ventures into darker realms.

The albums other tracks - March Of Gha’agshebalh, CrownedWithSeven and Void - turn the burgeoning Occult Rock world on its head and give it a much needed violent satanic makeover. The band oozes confidence as this hard-rocking duo don't hold back with their tales of doom and gloom though crossed with the legendary Californian Desert atmosphere. To The Other works on so many levels that one listen of this great album is never enough. You're bound to miss different sounds and noises within your first few listens. Truth be told, I did. It took me about 4 or 5 listens to fully understand the album as Saturnalia Temple will leave you frustrated and angry at times but when you fully understand this album, you will be left in a state of awe and wonder.

Maybe I'm looking too much into this album but I always admire bands that go the extra mile in creating something different for people to experience. Saturnalia Temple has created something similar with To The Other. It's a rich, complex and highly rewarding experience. Saturnalia Temple has created something special here. To The Other is a must-have album. Be prepared to be blown away.

Excellent and Highly Recommended.

Thanks to Suspicious Activities PR for the promo. To The Other is available to buy  via Listenable Records and The Ajna Offensive on CD/DD/Vinyl now.

Words by Steve Howe

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