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Prophets of Saturn - Retronauts

Prophets of Saturn
by Matt "Wolverine" Johnson at 20 July 2015, 9:23 AM

Much like the great thinkers and discoverers of centuries ago, there is much focus in the world Metal on the planets, including Saturn. This, my friends, is about the band PROPHETS OF SATURN and I am here to tell you the tale of what they hath wrought and sent unto the realm of Earth that the ears of the masses may bear witness to the gospel of Metallum Psychedelia that is to be heard on their latest album, "Retronauts." So much like its name suggests, venture back to the past with me, if you will, and behold the sounds of music from decades ago, brought into the modern time by a British quartet with an affinity for a style made famous by BLACK SABBATH, re-crafted in their own fashion.

The very real sense that you, the listener, have traveled back in time to an inner-city London Rock pub begins to come over you from the get-go on the title track. There are neon signs all around and cigarette smoke weighs in the air, strangling out the oxygen like the grasp of a Force-choke by Darth Vader himself. If you looked on stage in this vision, this is the band you could see and this is what you could hear. The pounding guitar riff is set further into your eardrums by the cymbal crashes, bass, and snare of the percussion, while the detached voice wails deep into your mind.

The drone of "Retronauts" fades out and the more upbeat "Ultra Wizard" fades in. By now, the intoxicants have taken a firm hold on the grey matter in your skull and the funky fuzz gives you the urge to peel your flesh off of the corner booth seat and shuffle around in an interpretive dance directly in front of the band. Without hesitation, "Witch Rider" takes over your mood and you headbang, thrashing to the beat.

"Damavand" is then ready to close out the band's set, and the slow, drawn-out guitar notes force your eyes to roll back into your head. The trip has created an euphoria that leaves you without words nor motion as the "body" of the song is played. The music forms circles and patterns behind your eyes and you can suddenly touch the sounds you hear. Lights from every direction leave tracers as your eyes try to translate all of the stimulating colors. The wonder ceases as you return to your body and you catch a ride home.

This is the experience that comes from the music alone. In typical Doom/Stoner Metal fashion, the fuzz distortion is massive. The cymbals crash like glass raindrops shattering on a brass rooftop. George's vocals, though a lot like most similar vocalists in terms of tone, possess a ghostly recessed quality that seems to distance itself from the music. To compare, "Witch Rider" is a very retro song, not unlike something THE SWORD would produce. Overall, it is a very creative listening experience, but lacks the trailblazing quality and originality that would set this album in the top tier of its genre. Judge for yourself, and see if "Retronaut" doesn't send you back to a simpler time and place!

4 Star Rating

1. Retronauts
2. Ultra Wizards
3. Witch Rider
4. Damavand
Ben - Guitars
Max - Bass
Duncan - Drums
George - Vocals
Record Label: Hevisike Records


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