Review: “Saturnian” by Obsidian Skies

Following the story of humankind abandoning Earth for Saturn’s moon Titan, the concept behind “Saturnian“, the debut EP from Progressive Melodic Death Metal duo Obsidian Skies is a Science Fiction fantasy reminiscent of tales we’ve seen in the movies. The exploration of the emotional and physical struggles of leaving mankind’s home planet have a strange appeal given the current state of the environment, while the note that this work was mixed and mastered by Tom MacLean (ex-Haken, Athemon, Brutta) also draws the eye. Based in Colorado, the duo of Logan Dougherty (guitars, piano, orchestration) and Tim Watervoort (guitars, basses, vocals) both have  backgrounds in physics, astrophysics, composition and linguistics meaning that this could have far more to it than meets the eye…

…epic and grandiose “Celestial Age” sounds huge, rich in bright orchestration and intricate guitar patterns while Tim Watervoort’s vocal range impresses going from unclean brutality to angelic clean moments depending on what suits the lyrical narrative the best. The result is something spellbinding and boarding of Fantasia Metal in the realm of Solemnity as it plays out, painting pictures in the mind with a fine pointed brush and a depth of texture that impressive to say the least with the piano adding a warming touch. An elephant in the room is the drum machine which feels a little mechanical and industrial at times, lacking the depth, warmth and feel of a real drum kit but needs must and it serves a purpose. A near twelve minute gargantuan affair “Rebirth in the Stars” makes the most of the drum machine with some solid moments of blasting before the Avant-Garde side of the duo’s offering surfaces in a melodic drop out of cinematic qualities. It’s a stunning passage that sounds like the work of  Hans Zimmer, crossing orchestration with intricate piano in a soundscape of epic beauty. A slick transition out of that into something that borders of Technical Death Metal with some throat splitting vocals is incredible before the epic finale but what works well is that the storyline isn’t as over powering as it could be. These songs stand up on their own and work in isolation as well, not reliant on each other or context, which is testament to the craft and musicanship that has gone into them. Meloncholic with an acoustic introduction,  “Home” continues the vibe with a stirring ballad about the life on Earth being a distant memory and struggling to adapt to the new setting on Saturn. From within that rich melody bursts forth Death Metal riffs and searing vocals that build the intensity and atmosphere majestically. A bold and somewhat brave undertaking, the first record from Obsidian Skies is an absolute pleasure, the merits of which need to be sung from the rooftops [8.5/10]

Track Listing

  1. Celestial Age
  2. Rebirth in the Stars
  3. Home

Saturnian” by Obsidian Skies is out 14th October 2022 with pre-orders available over at bandcamp

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