"High Priest of Saturn"

By Octopi Mills

Tonight I listen to High Priest of Saturn from Norway, a land known for the export of black metal, though what I hear coming out of the speakers is no such thing, but more so a music with a doomish vibration, complete with psychedelia and retro feel. The music shambles slowly, and offers illegally spaced out vocals, as if hashish is at play, or something stronger and one is soon capable and free, in a hallucinogenic reverie that worships the same old cosmic chord and keys played in the same old sultan's chambers. There is something sunny and orange to the first song, something one can hear in a lot of similar music, and it is something desert like at times that evokes temples and solar deities more than those that are more Saturnalian ones at first listen. As the second song "Kraken Mare" builds itself as high as a Babylonian tower, it threatens to crush itself commercially  with a lurching pace, and hazy prophet-like vocals that send one into the contemplation of astrological influences and cosmic things, surely, though they are things out of reach and up for speculations.

The female vocals are chanting and wandering at times, never allowing me to make out the lyrics fully, and so I contemplate things that probably have little to do with the themes.

After a while these concepts turn into mush, and muddy waters, and the riffs never stray far from the usual stoner/rock/doom formula or pace set by so many bands who flock to the old temples of vintage amplifier sounds and bass droning, which drools and twiddles around like the guitars themselves, ham and egging in supreme loafing and near befuddlement.

The music never treads new ground, which is good and bad- dark and light, like the pavement of some Masonic  floor, and in this way it treads with dull steps over the same empty rituals that are repeated within so many shrines before. When I hear the music,though, it does not offer to me the same affect I get when I choose to read Lord Dunsany's "The Hashish Man",  nor could I say that I would want to choose this as a soundtrack for a personal smoking session, as I have other means that better suit such a sitting as listening to an album in entirety.  The drums shall have my praise however, as they make the monotonous affair a more crushing experience, and are performed in a manner that adds more weight to the album. The percussion comes out of the temples sounding better than most drumming i have ever heard in the style. I cannot say much about the rest of the music, only that I cannot find the influence of Saturn in the music at all, but more of a red solar cult feeling comes to me. Overall, it is not that it is bad music, but that it fails to make me want to choose it over so many other routes to the same places, conveyed by the many carpets and caravans that ride out into the same cosmos.