Norway is held in highest esteem for its contribution to black metal. However, what is a little known fact is how impressive its array of doom metal is also. Hailing from the city of Trondheim, High Priest of Saturn are a fresh faced and upcoming band; having only previously released a demo version of this album back in 2011.
What makes this band so special is the fact that instead of opting for the funeral-esque drawl of male vocals, they have instead put to full use the haunting echo of the voice of their vocalist Merethe who, if you hadn’t already guessed, is female. High Priest of Saturn are yet another building block in the bridge between rock and metal; pulling from plenty of old school influences such as Black Sabbath and Pentagram whilst also adding a modern jolt of adrenaline akin to Sleep and Acid King.
This is a doom record that is about slow as they come – steeped in ethereal atmosphere; the organ is like fingers creeping up the spine. The guitars throughout this self-titled opus never stray from traditional cuts of slow, throbbing chords and choking rhythms. Despite only featuring 4 tracks, the band still manage to clock in over 40 minutes – a respectable length for any album and, unlike most bands of their genre, they do not outstay their welcome. Layering heavy textures of psychedelia and distortion, High Priest of Saturn are a band who have carved a niche within traditional doom that is entirely unique to them.
(9/10 Angela Davey)