ALBUM REVIEW: Saturndust (Self-titled)

Helmet Lady Records (Summer 2015)

Every day, we puny humans face the empty quandary of existence. Saturndust reflect this daily toil through their brand of blazing space-doom. The Brazilian band’s debut album hits like an asteroid to the forehead – a slowly swirling mix of bone-snapping guitar tones, explosive drumming, spacey swooshes and sludgy, sorrow-infused riffs and solos. Jangling melodies sparkle briefly and die like fading stars in the darkness.

The album consists of six atmospheric explorations of distant celestial bodies, each representing humanity’s insignificance in the face of endless emptiness. This Sao Paulo crew find a great balance between bleak melancholy (echoing the peaceful vacuum of space / life) and cruel, carcass-pummeling riffage that slams you back to Earth with a thud.

This intergalactic mission has a tendency to drift off-course occasionally, such as on the track ‘Hyperion’ which opens with all the fury of a Cape Canaveral launch but then fades away into a kind of psychedelic oblivion. Other passages feel slightly disordered and uncertain. Meanwhile, the intonation of the rough-hewn and agonised vocals can be slightly distracting in places.

‘Saturndust’ is a heavy and compelling album of raw, space-themed misery that sets out to take you on a journey to somewhere spectacular…. but this is no fun family holiday. Strap yourself in and enjoy the intergalactic flight.


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