Saturnus - Official Website

The Storm Within

Denmark Country of Origin: Denmark

The Storm Within
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Type: Full-Length
Release Date: June 16th, 2023
Genre: Death, Doom, Melodic
1. The Storm Within
2. Chasing Ghosts
3. The Calling
4. Even Tide
5. Closing The Circle
6. Breathe New Life
7. Truth

Review by Lawrence Stillman on November 26, 2023.

Saturnus is a melodic death/doom metal band from Denmark that has been around for almost as long as genre greats like the Peaceville Three (My Dying Bride, Anathema, and Paradise Lost). While the style of death/doom they play has little in common with the Peaceville Three, that does not mean they are not enjoyable by any means. This is due to the fact that melodic death/doom is a genre full of creative musicians that can take an established formula and give their own spin on it, not to mention that it is absolutely beautiful to listen to even when you listen to the stock template of melodic death/doom.

This album from Saturnus is their 5th album in 30 years of formation, and while it is stylistically the same as their previous albums, this one is themed around the ocean and the sorrows one has to deal with regarding losing their loved ones to the sea. It is a very done-to-death theme (*cough* Ahab *cough*), but the inherent dangers of the ocean and the unpredictability give it more impact, as seafarers have to worry if this voyage could be their last and if their departure is the last time they could see their families. It is a very powerful theme that never fails to capture the emotions of sorrow, loss, and depression.

Musically, it is very similar to the Peaceville Three, doom metal with melodeath guitar harmonies. It is very slow and foreboding, and the songs tend to be very long as a result. Besides that, clean vocals have a lessened presence here compared to other melodic death/doom acts, with the only song with clean vocals being 'Even Tide' and the clean vocals there were performed by a guest. The piano/keyboards here also did a good job of conveying the sadness of the album's themes while providing an extra layer of atmosphere. Even the guitar solos sound depressive and sorrowful, that is how you know you have a good death/doom record on your hands. The bass is uncharacteristically forward in the mix, being very prominent and delivering secondary melodies when the guitars are busy with harmonies.

The production here is stellar, as close to perfect as you can get with modern melodic death/doom albums like "When a Shadow Is Forced Into The Light". Everything sounds pristine and balanced here instead of sounding overproduced like a typical Nuclear Blast record. Prophecy Productions has a good track record of creating stellar mixes for bands under their label, which makes the decision to sign Alcest to Nuclear Blast even more perplexing.

This album is just another stellar and traditional melodic death/doom record, but given how the catalogue for 2023 looks so far, I think I have to say this is my AOTY 2023, unless Intestine Baalism drops a new album this year out of the blue.

Highlights: All songs

Rating: 9.3 out of 10