Saturnus - Saturn In Ascension
© Cyclone EmpireDenmark
© Cyclone Empire
- Litany of Rain
- A Lonely Passage
- A Father's Providence
- Mourning Sun
- Call of the Raven Moon
- Forest of Insomnia
- Limbs of Crystal Clear (bonus track from 1994)
People change, and so will I. It’s a gradual process but entirely inevitable. When our friends or family are separated from us by any length of time, the occasions when we reunite tell an enormous amount of what we’ve loved (or hated) about them. For the most part, it’s a true testament of how much we truly care about them and whether we choose to accept that which we already know and that of which we have yet to discover.
It’s been 6 years since Saturnus released their previous album Veronika Decides to Die and although a few faces have changed, the band proves to us that they are still that old familiar friend. What is it that they’ve shown us with their new release Saturn In Ascension? Well, in a nutshell, consistency.
The consistency of the band’s gradual evolution is a staggering achievement on it’s own. Not only does this open doors to listeners old and new, it also allows one to experience both limitless enjoyment and genuine sorrow. Established fans will not feel betrayed and new listeners can easily be lulled by the highly emotional melancholic (seldomly changing downtempo) instrumental atmosphere. At times some tracks seem a little too familiar, like a blending of several songs from previous releases. However, they are justified by magnificent additions such as a sensational classical children’s choir (Litany of Rain), male chorus vocals/female Celtic vocal stylings (A Lonely Passage), flute (Call of the Raven Moon) and divine guitar leads with driving solos and brighter tones than those in the past. I’ll be honest, the lead guitars have been my most nervously anticipated part of this release, with a new artist at the helm. However, it took little time to shed the fear of disappointment. They maintain their legacy but with an increased level of technicality. Of course we can't go on without mention of acoustic melodies, piano and the hallmark vocal stylings of Thomas (recitation/gruff singing/guttural growls). Collectively everything ties itself into a heaping release of sorrow, remorse and realization. That, my friends, is what Saturnus does best. They have time and again shown mastery of capturing our senses while at the same time remaining quite familiar and intriguing.
Saturn in Ascension is a highly recommend album in the echelon of masterpieces by Saturnus. I feel it is one of the most important releases in recent memory and I know that from this point forward it will remain an essential part of my music collection. There have not been major leaps and bounds away from the band’s original formula but the additions and mild experimentation keep things fresh and rewarding. The album mostly feels like a direct continuation of the previous release but is by no means in any way disappointing.
My unrealistically high expectations have been met and in the process I have learned that this band, my old friend, has and will continue to grow and change with me over the years.