As they sing in the Rocky Horror Picture Show, "Let's do the time warp again." Some three years on from their debut album Sweden's retro rockers Saturn return with their second effort Beyond Spectra, complete with some groovy Sixties sci-fi fantasy art work. Sweet.
For Saturn, when it comes to their music, old school is the new school. They reach deep into annals of space and psychedelic rock, and proto-metal, of the Seventies to develop their sound. Think parts Budgie, Deep Purple, early Judas Priest, and very early UFO and their space rock beginnings. At the core, their songs revolve around several prominent things: riffs, leads, and rhythm and groove. The riffs are done in twin guitar harmony, before breaking into leads that sway between subtlety, sophistication, and stratospheric soaring. The bass and drum lines both support and propel each song with pacing from simple steadiness to boogie groove to more hastening swiftness. Lead vocals and backing arrangements follow similar harmonic lines, rising and turning upon the melody.
Going a bit deeper, for the recording and production process, Saturn once more kept things simple. All the songs were recorded through two old Swedish Radio mixing tables, probably analog I'm guessing. Post-production was sparse, adding no effects or over-dubs. The result is that Beyond Spectra has clear and clean presentation with a warm and earthy feeling. Actually, I found the overall sound of the album nearly muted in the dialed down sense. I actually had to play it louder than I would normally play another album in my office to bring the music up and out for listening enjoyment.
It's sufficient to say, Beyond Spectra is definitely a step forward for Saturn, yet also a consistent statement of their chosen musical style. Their modern interpretation and expression of classic melodic heavy space metal is spot on. Recommended. Top song picks: Orbital Command, Force Of North, Nighttime Badger, and Electrosaurus Sex, if only for the title. Grin.
It's sufficient to say, Beyond Spectra is definitely a step forward for Saturn, yet also a consistent statement of their chosen musical style. Their modern interpretation and expression of classic melodic heavy space metal is spot on. Recommended.
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