Facebook – love it or hate it, it certainly has its uses. One such use was enabling me to find out about Illinois’ Seal of Saturn. After thoroughly enjoying one of their demos on YouTube (you can check it out at the end of this review) and subsequently sharing it with anyone who will listen on Facebook and Twitter, I was contacted by Mikhail Juarez (guitar, vocals, bass, keyboards) and he asked me if I would like to review their EP. My answer was, obviously, ‘yes!’.
The EP opens with “Gnosis: The Dream Key”. It would be easy to think of this track as merely an introduction to the EP, but it holds a more important purpose: it sets the scene. In listening to “Gnosis” you are entering unknown territory – a mystical and mythical realm. It eases you in gently… then the band slam you in the face with “Hymns to the Eldest Ones”. This track is insane – an interesting combination of riffs reign supreme in a cacophony of organised chaos. Seal of Saturn are cooking up their own version of technical extreme metal… and it tastes good!
“Curse of the Revelations” reminds me a little bit of Solace of Requiem in places. I’m not sure if either band are aware of each other, but they’d certainly complement each other greatly on a tour. In spite of reminding me of SOR, there is something very different about this track. Seal of Saturn have definitely developed this sound and made it their own.
“Abyssum Invoco Luciferi” is a strange little track that seemed a little out of place on first listen (despite having been introduced to it on the demo). Several listens have since happened and it now fits right in – it bridges the gap between “Curse of the Revelations” and “The Ninth Gate” incredibly well. “The Ninth Gate” is a monster of a track and, for me, it feels like Seal of Saturn have saved the best for last. It’s just so POWERFUL!
As far as I’m aware, this is Seal of Saturn’s first release and this is incredibly impressive for a debut. In fact, it’s impressive for a 2nd, 3rd or 4th release.
Here’s that demo I mentioned at the start of the review:
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