Review by Vladimir on March 31, 2023.
Lamp Of Murmuur is back with its third full-length album Saturnian Bloodstorm, released via Argento Records and Wolves of Hades on March 26th, 2023. This was by far one of the most anticipated black metal releases of the year, considering the fact that the previous album Submission And Slavery caught so much attention from a great number of black metal fans worldwide. Although US black metal wasn’t really in my realm of interest, I do find a lot of bands attractive and impressive, with Lamp Of Murmuur obviously being one of them. So, let’s dive in and see what this great bloodstorm brings.
The first track 'Conqueror Beyond The Frenzied Fog' begins this epic journey with a very much Immortal-like guitar and drum work, consisted of melodic and tremolo riffs, clean guitars, blast beats, double-bass and mid-tempo drumming, choir-like keyboards and very bloody harsh singing vocals. Although most tracks repeat this established Immortal formula, tracks such as 'Hymns Of Death, Rays Of Might' and 'Seal Of The Dominator' take a different turn by having the guitars tuned half a step down, along with the title track 'Saturnian Bloodstorm' which has guitars tuned half a step up or maybe all the way up to F standard if not mistaken, therefore being huge stand outs and deviate so much from the first and fifth track, apart from the track 'Descending From The Aurora' which is an instrumental interlude. It goes without saying that it’s obvious how Immortal was huge influence on Lamp Of Murmuur’s songwriting, which is especially noticeable on the riffs themselves, as well as song arrangements. You could also say that in a way the album production, along with the songwriting, does resemble an Immortal album from the late 90’s early 2000s such as "At The Heart Of Winter" and "Damned In Black", but that doesn’t necessarily have to be a bad thing in my opinion. The sound production in itself is very high quality, very much similar to that of Peter Tägtgren (Abyss studio), where the guitars exceed and stand out the most out of the entire instrumental work on this album, while the vocals are second best behind the instruments in terms of how they were handled in the mix.
This is a superb album that had me gaze in wonder as I was listening to it from start to finish without blinking an eye. I don’t think that I was worried at any moment whether this was going to be a disappointment or not since I was already impressed with the previous album Submission And Slavery. Even though the decision of songs having various guitar tuning of either half step down or half step up is an odd one, it certainly doesn’t break away the magic and not let you enjoy the songs which in my opinion are very powerful and pure bangers. Whoever is this unknown individual by the name of M. that spearheads Lamp Of Murmuur, the man is clearly a genius who knows how to make excellent music and deliver great black metal.
Rating: 9.1 out of 10496