Do you know what I used to hate, conspiracy theories. Yet contradictory to this I’ve always had a fascination with aliens and peoples encounters with them. Nowadays I’m pretty well into the idea of conspiracies that’s not to say I believe them all but the subject as a whole I’m totally intrigued by. I mean people seriously think the earth is flat! What’s that all about? However each to their own and I’m more than willing to hear about peoples theories generally the more ludicrous the better. Who are we to judge anyway, after all we all have strange beliefs in something.
The self-proclaimed, albeit comically branded Aliencore band Rings Of Saturn from California have come under their own sort of societal fire through the years. I remember when they first came about back in 2009 and latterly released their debut in 2010 Embryonic Anomaly. People couldn’t believe what they were hearing. Consistently labelled as trash and mocked heavily it’s a wonder the band ever continued. The funniest thing of all is that now they are hailed as forerunners for the Technical Deathcore genre and praised highly. I admire the level of stoicism they have showed through the years and have grown to become very much a fan. Now we welcome the bands milestone fifth full length Gidim, put out through Nuclear Blast.
Opening with Pustules the Tech heavy aspect isn’t immediately apparent. Then all of a sudden the riffs are dancing across the fretboard like intricately placed raindrops. Vocally the album is a powerful force of traditional yet hard hitting Deathcore might. Imagine Infant Annihilator on acid and you’ve got Rings Of Saturn. If the Tech wasn’t enough during the opening track then Divine Authority is sure to blow you into another dimension. Its sweeping precision throws the listener between all out noise and genius. It is indeed at times like this where you can see why so much hatred was fired at the band, it’s kind of like Prog, you either get it or you don’t. Bloated And Stiff is perhaps one of the more interesting songs on the record. It moves from big breakdowns into ethereal passages with an extreme kind of delicacy that just works so well.
The single The Husk stands proud amid the rest of the record yet ceases to peak with any sort of outshining quality. This is more a positive than a negative for it shows the strength of the album and indeed the band when it comes to consistency. Doing just what it says on the tin Mental Prolapse is a challenging affair for those not used to this level of Tech. If you’re a newcomer to the genre then this album as a whole is perhaps best avoided, else you face the wrath of being thrown in at the deep end. For existing fans Mental Prolapse is sure to be one of the heavier hitters and a firm favourite. Finally we get to the closing titular track Gidim. It’s a track which shows growth and innovation which is sadly for this album the only thing lacking. This might sound ridiculous considering the absurdity of the music at hand but it would appear that many artists have surpassed Rings Of Saturn’s in terms of actual delivery.
Now as mentioned Rings are now somewhat hailed as a driving force and quite rightly so. They did something so different back in 2010 but has their sound changed all that much? The answer is no, not a great deal. By no means is this a bad trait to hold dear but alas so many new artists are arising with bigger and quite frankly better aspirations. Just look at Archspire, Equipoise, Inferi, Flub, Rivers Of Nihil the list goes on. Technical Deathcore and its partner Technical Death Metal have come to a point where fans demand more than just fancy riffs. They demand atmosphere and beard-stroking Yes-like qualities. Of course this is all a bit pompous but that’s the whole point. I wouldn’t however wish to end on a bad note and I would state that Gidim is as strong a contender in the rankings of Rings discography as any other and therefore a winner in my eyes.
(7/10 George Caley)