Stone-Sour-Hydrograd.jpgRings Of Saturn – Ultu Ulla

Release Date: 28th July 2017

Label: Nuclear Blast

Rings Of Saturn’s 5th studio record continues in the turn towards a more technical sound and away from the brash, beatdown sound of their early output.

You cannot deny the technical ability on display in this record, the first 30 seconds of album opener ‘Servant Of This Sentience’ tells you all you need to know about the musicianship that this band possesses. However, between the sweep picking, the tapping and the blastbeats it seems that this a release devoid of any real feeling. It takes a few listens to comprehend what’s going on throughout various tracks, there’s a lot going on at the same time which can be cool to listen to if you appreciate that style of music but it seems to be a case of “look how fast we can play, isn’t that great.” A good portion of this record, notably ’Immemorial Essence’, ‘Margidda’ and ‘Prognosis Confirmed’ sounds like a 12 year old child has been let loose on Garage Band following three days of no sleep fueled by nothing but Monster Energy. Maybe that’s what some people want, but for me it does nothing.

One redeeming feature of the record is the surprising turn of several acoustic driven tracks, now they might not necessarily fit in with the rest of the record but they seem to be played with more feeling and most importantly, they’re not completely overproduced. ‘Unhallowed’ and the intro’s of ‘The Macrocosm’ and ‘Inadequate’ (which both serve as nice preludes to the rest of the track) all have wonderful melodies, which unfortunately only add up to around 2 minutes of the full 42 minute running time.

Props to Rings Of Saturn for being more technical than I could ever dream of being but I don’t feel any emotion within the music and, for me, that is the most important ingredient when it comes to music. The fast playing and technical ability is a mere consolation.

Rating: 3/10

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