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Prophets of Saturn – Retronauts – Album Review

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Prophets of Saturn
Retronauts
HeviSike Records
Release  Date: Out Now
Review by Callum Doig

England may be the birthplace of metal, but, generally, a lot of amazing groups were formed in that small country, and the list is as infinite as the inspiration of Jimi Hendrix and Blue Cheer. Hailing from Leicester, Prophets of Saturn come with a high dosage of fuzzy ‘70s revival psychedelic rock on their brand new record Retronauts.

Album opener Retronaut follows through a slow, yet slightly progressive doom manifestation. As the track goes blunt on the heavy blasts of fuzz from the instruments, the vocals avoid a forced sound, making it pitched just right with the rest of the band. The Ultra Wizards (Of Neptune 9) picks up rockier moments along with some somewhat groovy takes that descend into a slower pace as the track moves on. Witchrider plays a quicker role in the album, while still maintaining a heavy and rocking round of riffs and jazzed-up thrashy drum beats.

With Witch Rider serving as the quickest track of Retronaut, Damavand proceeds as what Sleep’s Dopesmoker is to Prophets of Saturn, but, about 45 minutes shorter than Dopesmoker is. Damavand approaches slower than the other tracks of the album, with an eerie bass intro going for nearly three minutes, with the band coming in afterwards with a blurry and dark tone in the guitar. Only at the eleven minute mark does the band come with a heavier and rockier take that follows its album’s counterparts.

While all the flangers and buzzy tones follow through the record with some peculiar riffs and heavily echoed vocals, the modern day digital recording really feels like it’s not there. The echoed vocals like I mentioned before, do add a lot more vibes in the atmosphere of the album, and don’t hint much of an overemphasised sound. It’s very blues-based I should mention, as well. While the Prophets of Saturn do make many approaches with blues and doom sounds in each track, they do manage to make a sound of their own, while still tracing back to some of the most psychedelic tracks of the Woodstock era.

Would these guys be making the ‘70s proud? This critic here says “Hell yeah!” I suggest to everyone who is keen on checking out Prophets of Saturn, to allow themselves to take some time on giving Retronauts a few listens from start to finish. It may not be that easy of a record to get into, but after at least five sessions for me, I can say that I’ve been really digging this record and this band.

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