Monday 13 March 2017

Review: Saturn – 'Beyond Spectra'

'Beyond Spectra'

Channelling the old school sound and aesthetic of heavy metal's formative years in the late 60's and early 70's, Sweden's Saturn take things back to basics with their sophomore outing 'Beyond Spectra'. Invoking the early works of luminary artists such as Black
Sabbath, UFO, Budgie, Deep Purple, Rainbow and, Judas Priest; Saturn’s sound is distinct, yet comfortingly familiar. 'Beyond Spectra' is a blend of memorable riffs, heavy grooves and sing-a-long vocals clad in flared denim that you just can't help but bang your head to.

Songs such as 'Orbital Command', 'Wolfsson', 'Electrosaurus Sex', 'Sensor Data', and 'Still Young' are prime examples of why not only bands of the original era refuse to die, but why younger bands are still finding inspiration and ideas within this style. Solid riffs and nice tempos make them a perfect vehicle for lyric-heavy songwriting to tell their own mythology through.

There is a point in the album after the middle and towards the end where it feels as though the track list kind of stalls a bit, but the closing two tracks drag things back in line to finish with style.

Production-wise, even though the band's core sound owes a great debt to the kings of the early 1970's, they have by no means pursued the retro-for-the-sake-of-it approach when it comes to the final touches to the album. It is crisp, confident, and modern in it's execution which really compliments their melodic freewheeling style.

This is a good second album from a band that should quite rightly garner broad appeal for their accessible style of hard rock meets proto-metal. Some of it is gloriously ridiculous, and that's why it works. They're having fun writing fundamentally good tunes and it shines through on each song. Hopefully there will be much more to come from these Swedes over the next few years.  

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