Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Prophets of Saturn - Retronauts (Album Review)

By: Peter Man

Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 17/7/2015
Label: Hevisike Records


The album as a whole succeeds in its goal of importing 1960’s heavy metal into the 21st century.  While each song bares the same intrinsic engineering and fuzz-loaded basics, they each explore a unique path and keep the listener engaged for all 35 minutes.

‘Retronauts’ CD//DD//LP track listing:

1). Retronaut
2). Ultra Wizards
3). Witch Rider
4). Damavand

Prophets of Saturn is:

Ben | Guitars
Max | Bass
Duncan | Drums
George | Vocals

The Review:

For those who dug the Prophets Of Saturn's 2013 self-titled, debut album, they will be extremely satisfied with the 2015 follow-up, 'Retronauts'.  The band's sound is heavily driven by a retro, fuzz core that adds layers of psychedelic/stoner rock, and doom.  'Retronauts' runs with that sound from the first release, and improves the production quality and overall song consistency to produce a signature album that grooves quite easily.

The album as a whole succeeds in its goal of importing 1960’s heavy metal into the 21st century.  While each song bares the same intrinsic engineering and fuzz-loaded basics, they each explore a unique path and keep the listener engaged for all 35 minutes.  Vocalist George Sanderson steers the ship with equal skill using aggressive, primal yelling as he does with the desperate wailings of a cosmic apparition.  Guitarist Benjamin Shore's wah-induced solos take you on a funky joy ride around the nearest moon or asteroid belt, while still allowing the rest of the songs to maintain present course.  Both albums incorporate long portions of instrumental music, but as 'Prophets of Saturn' includes two separately focused instrumental tracks, 'Retronauts' puts their money down and rolls them all into a single 16-minute metal monster, titled 'Damavand'.

The first track, ‘Retronaut’, opens with a dirty guitar riff and is soon joined by the rhythm section to form an infectious grind.  Two minutes in, the vibe gets extra heavy, as they drop an octave and start introducing otherworldly noises.  A brief guitar solo explosion precedes a total breakdown into Sanderson’s reverberated, almost indiscernible chanting.  Max Mead’s bass joins the procession, signalling another impending, full-blown groove which arrives right on time and carries the track for four more minutes to completion.  The second offering, ‘The Ultra Wizards (Of Neptune 9)’ tops out just under seven minutes and brings equal parts gusto and guitar riff to a stylish, retro tune.  The third track, ‘Witch rider’, is a relatively short, high energy song that contrasts nicely with the album’s fourth and final track, the aforementioned epic ‘Damavand’.

Two of the band's members, vocalist George and bassist Max, also play in the band Slow Worm, an ambient/doom outfit that is very worthy of your listening time; George is that band’s drummer and Max strums the guitar.  Considering their diverse musical talents, look for Prophets Of Saturn to continue delivering, and perfecting, their fuzzy blend of vintage, stoner doom that worked so splendidly on ‘Retronauts’

‘Retronauts’ is available here

FFO: Electric Wizard, Uncle Acid And The Dead Beats


Band info: bandcamp | facebook | twitter

No comments: