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Lumnos - Ancient Shadows of Saturn

Ancient Shadows of Saturn
by Lauren Fonto at 07 March 2018, 9:32 AM

“Ancient Shadows of Saturn” is the follow-up to 2016’s “Before the Light”. LUMNOS is a one-man black metal/ambient project from Brazil, and this year’s album is themed around the planet Saturn; Putrefactus has written the album as a history of the planet from its birth to its death.

The production is suitably expansive, thus allowing for a musical experience of journeying through the cosmos. However, the vocals do sound a little bit far back in the mix on occasion, but that’s a relatively minor quibble. The juxtaposition of the black metal and electronica elements are interesting, but I felt that the mixture didn’t quite work on “Existentialism”. The relative heaviness of this track made for an interesting contrast with the rest of the album, and I think it may have been more effective for this track to have been consistently heavy throughout is runtime. There were some great sections of layered black metal riffs on the track.

“I am Born From a Star” is a truly epic opener. The soaring keyboards evoke the cosmos, while melancholy guitar riffs join with violins to heighten the sense of pathos. The riff changes are subtle, yet no less moving. The whispery black metal vocals add a feeling of transience; even as Saturn is born, there’s the realization that one day it may be gone. A quiet interlude with spoken words and shifting keyboards gives a feeling of transcendence, and the black metal vocals later add texture. The piano notes are a beautiful touch, as are the clean vocals with their well-done falsetto notes. Notes tumble like falling stars in the coda, thus ending this track on a high point. “Primordial Darkness” opens with melancholy notes picked on guitar, with the slower piano and violin notes adding to the melancholia. The bubbling, muffled riffs give a feeling of longing, and the vocals are like a stellar wind. Distant high riffs at a later point are achingly beautiful, and add a feeling of loss. A quieter section sees piano notes falling like a soft rain, while the trilling organ notes of the coda remind one of inevitable transience.

For the purists, this album may not work, but for others it may prove to be a captivating listen. Black metal which leans more towards the atmospheric side of the spectrum is something I find calming after a long day, and “Ancient Shadows of Saturn” is no exception.

Songwriting: 7
Originality: 8
Memorability: 7

3 Star Rating

1. I am Born From a Star
2. Primordial Darkness
3. Ancient Shadows of Saturn
4. No Soul is Near
5. Existentialism
Putrefactus – All Instruments
Saddy – Lyrics
B.M. – Vocals, Mix, Mastering
Unknown – Clean Vocals & Additional Synths
Record Label: Flowing Downward Records


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