Released on: 2017-07-28
Arriving back on the scene with their fourth full length studio album »Ultu Ulla« and now signed to Nuclear Blast Records as of May 2016, return Bay Area technical death core musicians RINGS OF SATURN. This self-dictated ‘Alien death core’ band present an entirely new and esoteric proposition to heavy metal. Terrorizing earthlings with their intense measures of technicality is something that RINGS OF SATURN excel in. Always pushing boundaries, yet maintaining a level enough balance to safeguard the sound that their fans love, they have mastered a rare form of self-control as they continue to shred, break down, and scream their way through modern music. Always looking for new ways to expand upon their current sound, RINGS OF SATURN present a level of technical precision which is rare to see in modern death core. Currently, their lineup includes founding member Lucas Mann on guitar, Miles Dimitri Baker on guitar, Aaron Stechauner on drums, and vocalist Ian Bearer. This album cycle the guys deliver to us quite possibly their most polished sounding tracks yet. They showcase funky rhythm and skull crushing breakdowns that are so powerful they drag you to the ground while still lending the feeling of speeding through a math equation.
Beginning in early 2009 and influenced by a combination of extra-terrestrials and the time's modern death core movement, RINGS OF SATURN was initially an imaginative solo project embarked upon by the band's lead guitarist and song writer Lucas Mann.
Mann reflects: "I had a vision for a band that was everything I liked about all the music I was listening to back in high school (including bands like CARNIFEX, SUICIDE SILENCE, and WHITECHAPEL). When I was working on writing a bunch of stuff, I didn't have any members at the time so it was all just what I wanted to do. I was messing around with harmony pedals, and I came across this really spacey harmony that I liked."
The band's name was a culmination of his many space related ideas that just seemed to fit the level of speed and precision he was experimenting with. Also lyrically influenced by the video game series Deadspace, it isn't much of a surprise that Mann was able to apply his cosmic ideas to the brutally violent realm of death core. "If we had to put a label on it, it would be ‘technical death core’ because we have a lot of crazy guitar parts, and insane instrumentals, but also a lot heavy break-downs to go along with it." After rallying up regular band members and posting their first track ‘Abducted’ online with an overwhelming response, they self-released their first album »Embryonic Anomaly« in May 2009. Later that year the band signed its first official record contract with Unique Leader Records, and went on to re-release »Embryonic Anomaly« in May 2010. Continuing to stay with the label for the following two records gave RINGS OF SATURN their first true home in the metal industry.
Although they had only experienced playing five collective local shows as a band, they placed extremely high in the voting for 2011's Summer Slaughter Tour. After just barely missing the cut, they then embarked on their first tour entitled "Slaughter Survivors" in July 2011. In describing their tour exposure, Mann reflects: "Every tour is a learning experience and we are always improving the systematic ways that we do things." RINGS OF SATURN has also been a successful element to Summer Slaughter 2012, Despise the World North American 2013, The Coffin Dragger Tour 2016, in addition to over twenty others including their own headliners.
In February 2012, after a vocalist change RINGS OF SATURN released their next studio album »Dingir« in February. Mann's goal with this sophomore album was to incorporate more distinct melodies than their last release. This can be seen in tracks like ‘Utopia’ which is entirely instrumental.
»Lugal Ki En«, the band's third record, followed close behind and was released in October 14th, 2014. Staying true to their already well established style, tracks like ‘Senseless Massacre’ played around with high pitched-hyper guitar riffs, and quickly became popular, even spawning a music video. The album title translates from ancient Sumerian cuneiform to read: "King of the earthlings, lord of the cosmic realm."
When their contract with unique leader was up in 2016, it was only a matter of time before Nuclear Blast sniffed their talent out. As of May 2016, RINGS OF SATURN joined the label and will soon release their latest creation: »Ultu Ulla« in July 2017. Mastered yet again by Brette Ciamarra of Studio 344 in Pittsburgh PA, »Ultu Ulla« translates from ancient Sumerian Cuneiform to read “Time Immemorial.” The concept of the album carries on from the aliens of »Lugal Ki En« who brought war upon the gods, and have now awakened “an inconceivable, long forgotten, all powerful entity that now threatens the very fabric of reality and is featured, emerging, in the middle of the album cover,” describes Mann. With more hallucination inducing artwork by Mark Copper of Mind Rape Art, the »Ultu Ulla« album cover is made up of a three piece painting compared to the already complex two piece that is »Lugal Ki En«. “Mark has always been very effective in putting the band’s musical and conceptual ideas into a visual art form that matches the complexity of our music with detail,” says Mann.
»Ultu Ulla« stands to be RINGS OF SATURN’s best yet in terms of production quality, instrumental intricacy, and diverse sound patterns. With a new guitarist joining the quartet, the writing process this time around was different, but more versatile. Mann says: “This writing process was similar across the album in that we wanted to add a new layer of sound via synth that we haven't done before. Our inspiration is always experimentation, furthering our own sound and not sounding like anyone else.” Currently on tour with DESPISED ICON and CARNIFEX, playing two of their new tracks live is resulting in a very receptive audience. ‘Parallel Shift’ and ‘Inadequate’ both display many complementary sections of “spacey synth” throughout the entirety of the songs, and in addition to the rest of the instrumentation.
The unique relationship between Nuclear Blast and RINGS OF SATURN is sure to reveal a plethora of successful tours, merchandise, and most importantly: the kind of incredible music that can only be achieved through the complete artistic freedom which Nuclear Blast promotes.
"It was so important for us to go with Nuclear Blast because they give us 100% artistic creativity. With this new album, we've really gone to the extreme on all aspects and with every instrument. We've added a new layer of sound to make it sort of a three dimensional experience for everybody. There's something new for everyone to listen to. It's a much more full experience; more orchestral."
»Ultu Ulla« is a perfect example of their ability to show extreme progression in the realm of death core while still remaining true to the roots their fans worship. RINGS OF SATURN are a powerhouse of heaviness, mind bending theme, and unbridled technicality. "We're an experimental band and our fans know that. The most important part is to be able to express yourself during any point in your life through your music. We'll continue experimenting and reaching for new exciting things. Every single part of the album will have your blood pumping too hard: be careful when listening, please!”
The invasion of RINGS OF SATURN is a permanent one, earthlings. Stay tuned to bear witness to the continual development of their incredible sound as the celestial bodies revolve!
|Track list||Total runtime|
|1||- Servant of this Sentience||4:16|
|2||- Parallel Shift||3:49|
|4||- Immemorial Essence||4:44|
|5||- The Relic||4:47|
|8||- The Macrocosm||6:20|
|9||- Prognosis Confirmed||3:54|