Sunday, 8 December 2013

Saturn - Ascending (album review)

Please welcome the one and only Love Among Ruins to the Paranoid family!  You may recognize the name from Bandcamp or  She was the user who had the boobs and headphones profile pic.  It was almost as noticeable as user "Mike"s distinctive moon skull icon at the bottom of every single bandcamp album worth buying, or user "Scumbag"s evilly grinning green face alongside it.  Anyway, it was hard not to notice the Love Among Ruins icon and the accompanying short write-ups, a trend which continued on facebook and her song of the day selections.  Before long at all, I noticed that she could write and from there I saw the potential in her, so I decided to reach out and see if she wanted to expand on some of those ideas and songs of the day ... Happily she agreed to do it and she's prepared a little bio/introduction for herself:

Hey I'm 'Love Among Ruins' on bandcamp and  A couple of weeks ago, to my pleasant surprise, Lucas messaged me and asked me if I would be interested in writing for Paranoid Hitsophrenic! Being an admirer of his blog for quite sometime now I was very flattered and kind of shocked that he would ask me. I've never done any writing on any blogs anywhere....only the small write-ups I do on Bandcamp, so I felt very honored and I want to give a big thank you to Lucas for giving me a chance. ;-)

I have had a huge passion for music, I have been surrounded by it my entire life. Born in 1985, I grew up in a house where both parents were children of the 60's & 70's and are true hard rockers through & through. As far back as I can remember we always had music playing throughout the house. With their influence of rock & metal bands like Pink Floyd, Sabbath, Zeppelin, Deep Purple and Hendrix, and blues rock bands like CCR, Free, Mountain,Ten Years After etc, etc. I have a deep rooted love for the classics of rock. As I grew up I went through many changes trying to find what I loved to listen to the most, but I always found my ears attracted to the heavier side of blues rock. About a year ago I really wanted to dig deeper into stoner metal and doom thanks to Bandcamp and a great little music forum on the web known as "Hard Rock Revolution" which I joined in April this year. The people there have been very helpful with recommendations from Bandcamp and guiding me through the murky waters of doom and sludge. But through all of that I still have a love of the blues, and when you mix that with heavy, hard rock and/or stoner metal, my ears have something to feast on that I thoroughly enjoy.

So with all that said, I am definitely a newbie, so bare with me and I hope you enjoy my writing's! ;-)

Her debut review, begins now:

I am stoked to do a review on Saturn's full length debut album titled "Ascending". It was released on November 3rd, 2013 with 8 tracks coming in at just over 43 mins. This album gives the listener a full range of diverse metal. They are offering a digital release at Bandcamp as a "Name Your Price" deal. Although they do plan on a hard copy release, its not yet available on CD.

I asked Robin, the lead guitarist and back-up vocalist of the band, to give me a little background since this is the first time some of us are hearing their music. Saturn formed in 2010 in Borås, Sweden, a small town near Gothenburg with members Oscar Valentine Pehrson who belts out the lead vocals and plays a badass bass and the organ and Linkan Lindgren who shares lead guitar and back up vocals with Robin Tibebrink. The three started writing songs together and practicing as they searched for a drummer. Eventually they came across the versatile drummer Ted Carlsen, who can play everything from blazing metal, to a relaxed 70's laid back vibe. Now the stage was set to start writing and recording songs for their debut release. Robin says their influences come from bands like Budgie, Judas Priest, Rush, Deep Purple, UFO etc, the true 70's heavy metal.

My first impression of this album was of the vocals and how unique they were. I am very partial to clean vocals and usually that's the make it or break it element of most music when I am looking for something new. The lead singer Oscar Valentine Pehrson has a very distinctive vocal sound. With descent range and an upper register that can make the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. His vocals are always clean with clear diction, and the harmonies with the other band members sound pretty descent. It's very hard to put this band into one genre and as I listened to it I heard thrash, psychedelic rock/space rock, progressive rock and some blues rock thrown in the mix also. But the main overall thread that ties all of this together is classic traditional metal with all the riffs you can handle.

In the opening track 'So,You Have Chosen Death' they bring all the elements to slap you in the face with clear riff driven traditional metal. This is one of those songs that I can’t keep still while listening to, it makes me want to shake something or break something. :) Similar to the second track, 'Rokktori', which has that classic 80's metal sounds of a shredding guitar and at times I felt as if I was listening to Megadeth, Iron Maiden or Judas Priest. The stand out track and my favorite is 'Over The Influence' the longest track at 8:22 opens up with a bluesy, sultry almost Zeppelin-like number with smooth guitar tone and sweet solos, and a sexy rhythm. Usually I am partial to the blues influenced tracks on most albums, and this will definitely be one to remember and I hope they continue to write great music like this, excellent!! All the songs are engaging, but vary in their approach to capture the attention of different listeners. Like, for instance the track 'Leadersheep' which has a definite fast paced metal sound that reminds me of all the reasons why I loved early 90's thrash metal so much, bands like Anthrax, Megadeth and Metallica are a big part of my music background and when I hear something that reminds me of that time, it really does take me back to some good times. 'Peasant' is another one for the thrash lovers! This track shows off some tasty guitars riffs and soaring vocals. But it’s probably my least favorite song, just because I found it to be a little too repetitive or busy for my tastes. Like I said earlier I prefer the slow bluesy numbers that I can chill out to, which is just a personal thing and has nothing to do with the fact that the song itself is rather good, it just didn't grab me in the right place. But just as soon as I say that they go right back into a blues driven number called 'Tower Of Terror' which features passionate vocals and nice harmonies. There is a nice guitar solo towards the end that is sure to grab attention. This is a great song, definitely another one of my favorites. 'Last Man in Space' opens up with some soaring guitar solos layered with what sounds like a synth and/or organ. With a definite Rush influence, this track has a prog vibe to it as it takes on a life of its own with changing melodies and odd time signatures. It’s kind of all over the place, but I still like it. Closing out the album is the beautiful song Moonstone, an acoustic folk ballad showing off the bands ability to harmonize like a dream, it’s a fitting close to the album and leaves me feeling very satisfied.

Bottom line......Saturn is a young band with lots of passion and a drive to succeed which can only make them better with time. Given the proper management and exposure I think the sky is the limit for these guys. Robin tells me they are already writing new music and looking for a good booking agent so they can attend more gigs. I hope they do well and get the recognition they so deserve. I like this band, and the more I listened to the album the more I liked it. I want to see them produce a killer album and with a debut like "Ascending" I think they are on their way to do just that. 

Highlights include: "Over The Influence" and "Tower of Terror"

Rating: 4/5 Definitely worth a listen!!

Total Run Time: 39:54

From: Borås, Sweden

Genre: Metal, Thrash, Space Rock, Prog, Blues

Reminds me of: Rush, Megadeth, Led Zeppelin

Release Date: November 3, 2013

Saturn on facebook

Oscar Valentine Pehrson - Lead Vocalist/Bass
Robin Tidebrink - Guitar/Vocals
Linkan Lindgren - Guitar/Vocals
Ted Carlsen - Drums


  1. good to see a new person blogging.. and into cool music!

    also grew up in the 80' with my Dad listening to a lot of Lep zeppelin, Yes, Cream, King crimson, Zappa and stuff like that and I will be forever gretefull to him for that!

    have to check this Saturn, noticed it on Bandcamp but no time to listen to it, maybe will do it today..

  2. Great review Love Among Ruins, keep it comin' :D


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