High Priest of Saturn - Son of Earth and Sky
Svart Records
Psychedelic Rock
5 songs (40'15")
Release year: 2016
Svart Records
Reviewed by Alex

I was looking for something to soothe the nerves and calm down and High Priest of Saturn hit a major spot in that regard. For once, the labels were spot on in their description. Thick fat electric guitar sound, ever present organ, carefully threaded female vocals - the band from Norway has all of the trappings of psychedelic rock and executes flawlessly, putting together long, winding, but never boring or overthought tracks.

The first three compositions on Son of Earth and Sky clock in the vicinity of 10 min, so High Priest of Saturn can take their time to get going, starting Ages Move the Earth with just a warm bass line and high hat/cymbal gentle percussion. There is absolutely nothing wrong with bassist Merethe Heggset’s voice, but if somehow the vocals distracted me on Aeolian Dunes, then she simply accentuates floating drifting melody in Ages Move the Earth making it probably my favorite song on the album. The song has space to develop a jazzy guitar solo and then keyboards go nuts hitting a total zenith. Speaking of keyboards, it was worth it bringing a full-time player Ole Kristian Malmedal into the fold. The instrument is absolutely essential for High Priest of Saturn sound, it is prevalent, but takes on different shades. On Aeolian Dunes the organ is intimate, coming as if from a small dark room, making me think of an awkward teenage attempts at girls. In Ages Move the Earth the keyboards are cathedral sounding, a lot more prim and proper. And on the title track, after serving up a platter of lunar shivers at the beginning, they represent a sky alternative to an earthy guitar.

The closing pair of songs can be called if not heaviest, then certainly most unsettled. The Warming Moon is bubbly, twitchy and widgety, keyboards at their most fiery reminiscent of the late Jon Lord of Deep Purple from the bands early 70s output. The Flood of Waters is dense and pressing, rolling non-stop, a perfect representation of its title.

Svart has an absolute knack of understanding this genre and putting out the best in it. Because High Priest of Saturn is also female fronted, you may not be at fault thinking Jess and the Ancient Ones, but High Priest of Saturn is a lot less rock diva or vocals oriented, and a lot more jazzy weave and subdued atmosphere.

Killing Songs :
Ages Move the Earth, The Flood of Waters
Alex quoted 84 / 100
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