After an excruciating three year wait, your favorite aliencore band has released another album! RINGS OF SATURN has dropped Ulta Ulla (out now, Nuclear Blast Records) and after the beauty that was Lugal Ki En, I had really high expectations from this awesome band. Needless to say, they didn’t disappoint. Right off the bat, first track “Servant of the Sentience” fades in with their signature guitar synth, and immediately jumps into a really groovy kinda riff. It then takes an unexpected turn into what sounds like the child of power metal and deathcore. With the heavy breakdown that followed, I knew two things: the album would be spectacular, and it would keep me on my toes.
In stark contrast to the fade in from the first track “Parallel Shift” kicks off with a heavy riff and blasting drums. The heavy, sludgy feel of the song mixed with the eerie chorus make this the kind of song that would make you jump in a wall of death if played live (or if you’re bored with a friend and have kinda loud speakers). As I said, when I thought this album would keep me on my toes, I was spot on. “Unhallowed” is a beautiful acoustic number that almost feels like a flamenco-style piece. It’s a nice intermission between the face melters that precede and follow it. “Margidda” probably has the djentiest feel out of the whole disc, and completely abandons the small hints of power metal that can be found in other tracks.
“Harvest” keeps up the unpredictability by starting with a clip that makes me think of a spooky carnival (think of the merry go round from Boo’s Mansion in Super Mario 64). While the harpsichord-laced track ends after a half minute, they keep the vibe alive throughout the song. “The Macrocosm” is probably the most out-there track because this instrumental brings together many of the previous themes in the album, with a little bit of power metal, acoustic guitar, and creepy merry go rounds from classic Nintendo games. It sounds a bit progressive too, with intricate lines scattered throughout the song that keeps any listener attentive.
The next track completely blows out the harsh grace of the one before it and rips your face off from the very first second. “Prognosis Confirmed” starts off with a gut punching riff, but a little past the halfway point, the drums start doing a really unexpected jazzy pattern while the rest of the band keeps the angry alien-ness flowing. The final song, “Inadequate” starts off with an acoustic line that sounds like “Unhallowed” but takes a sharp turn, and the band amps up the aggression. It ends with a heavy breakdown to close out this amazing record.
I find it important to point out that while Ultu Ulla is diverse and unpredictable, it still definitely sounds like RINGS OF SATURN. It kept me surprised, and always wondering what the next song would be like. The amount of variance in the album is easily a plus for me. Go get a copy today!
STANDOUT TRACKS: ALL OF THEM