Review by JD on June 26, 2013.
Extreme forms of Metal have come a long way since they emerged in the very late 80’s. It is no longer just metal played at the extremes of heaviness and aggression… a new breed has emerged that has been sort of like a Darwinian evolution gone wild. It is now a framework of complex melodies and interesting rhythms that are the backbone while still driven by insanely heavy riffs, grunted angered vocals and played with blinding speed that most cannot even command to do.
Hailing from the US, Rings of Saturn are comprised of young men (Lucas Mann, Joel Omans Ian Bearer, Sean Martinez, Jesse Beahler) that were just barely out of High School when they simply put together what was going to be a side project. Playing a Melodic style of Metalcore, as if Cryptopsy met VoiVod and down heavy duty amphetamines before collaborating with Bloodbath - these five young men have found a balancing point that keeps the chaos and yet shows musical talent that most do not possess.
I was so impressed with the speed that accompanied some very solid melodies as they blazed their way through each of the ten tracks they offered. I liked most of the tracks, Shards of Scorched Skin was one of the best… but the production was far from even being good. Recorded as if they set up mikes in a closed adjacent room, it felt murky and muffled with no separation – the pinpoint accuracy and aggressive guitars never got the chance to fly. That alone brought the album down, and made a virtuosic band seem like they were not eve trying to be heard. All that was left was the question ‘What if?’ in my mind.
I was impressed by the musicianship, but the album left me shaking my head. A better producer and engineer might be needed, not more talent. It made this young and passionate group of musicians seem more of a joke that a metal joy. The true crime here is that the way it was produced and engineered never had to happen in the first place.
Categorical Rating Breakdown
Originality: 1 (Who could tell through the recording?)
Rating: 2.6 out of 10