High Priest of Saturn

High Priest of Saturn

Written by: EW on 09/05/2013 23:04:11

Three piece doom outfit High Priest of Saturn here on their self-titled debut album do what doom does best - play long and play slow - in a hazy relaxed tempo built as much on the part-time organ work of vocalist and bassist Merethe Heggset as it does on the slowly evolving riffs. These riffs morph slowly but deliberately across the albums' four extensive songs, clocking in at 41 minutes, keeping a fairly static tempo throughout - there is no burst of speed or funereal crawl to be found here as the overall stoned feel flattens out any peaks and troughs to leave the album as a consistent whole.

Along the lines of Electric Wizard's drug-addled vibes, devoid at least of the oppressive vibe of the British legends, with the stoner groove of Sleep and Om and the characteristic female vocals of Heggset resembling The Wounded Kings, HPoS exhibit a recipe that is sure to whet the appetite of fans of the genre. In fourth and final track "On Mayda Insula" the organ work is positively jazzy as it plays out beneath fuzzed out reverberating solos or atop the cavernous bass drum work of Andreas Hagen, content to act as either a rhythmic anchor or lead instrument, both of which it has time to do in the song's 13 minute duration. "Protean Towers" gives the distinct impression of the opening of a new Sleep record with it's slow, doomy, Sabbath vibe at the core. Heggset's echoing vocals can be added to the list of other effective female vocalists in the genre - funny how the softer, more feminine vibes work so well here and in the likes of Jex Thoth, the Wounded Kings, Blood Ceremony and the Devil's Blood - especially so coming from a writer who suffers an allergic reaction to the operatic female vocals of the power metal world.

"Kraken Mare" is more foreboding than "Protean …" but built around the same tempo; the drumwork found here aids the impending introduction before organ chords crash down in the song's next segment. "Crawling King Snake" is more of the same - seasoned listeners to the genre need not be put off but to outsiders this similarity in tone and tempo throughout holds the Norwegians back from releasing a top level debut. The beneficiary of multiple listens over many weeks, "High Priest of Saturn" delivers an astute connection with the feelings and mindset of the genre but too often sounds like a stereotypical band of their realm, against whom the sounds of the individual qualities of the aforementioned bands stand out greater. As a first release however there is promise to behold here and interest to be found.


Download: On Mayda Insula
For The Fans Of: The Wounded Kings, Jex Thoth, Sleep
Listen: Facebook

Release date: 23.03.2013
Svart Records

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