Saturn – Beyond Spectra
Release Date: March 31, 2017
Label: Rise Above Records
Back in 2014, a little band out of Sweden called Saturn blew my mind with a stellar debut album. Their album Ascending: Live in Space was a hefty dose of NWOBHM inspired gems that I felt had placed Saturn in the running pack of NWOTHM bands that were amazingly preserving the sound of traditional metal for a whole new generation. It was one of my favorite albums that year and even now it’s an album that I revisit quite a bit.
When it was announced that the band would be releasing their anticipated follow up, Beyond Spectra, I couldn’t wait to get my mits on it. When I finally got it, I hit the play button with anticipation. “Orbital Command” came on and I could literally feel a look of confusion take over my face. I mean, I just didn’t get it. The first thing that hit me was the discordant vocals of Oscar Pehrson. For some reason, while this kind of voice worked well with the more NWOTHM type material such as “Still Young” and “Silver Tape”, it just doesn’t seem to do well for most of this album and honestly, it seems to be the weakest link.
Musically, Saturn has talent for light years but Beyond Spectra just doesn’t feel like a natural progression for the band. The songs and even the overall performances on the songs feel forced and not very sincere. It’s almost like with the last album they were a metal band and this time around, they’re trying too hard to be Horisont. Don’t me wrong, I like Horisont but I loved Saturn when they were just being themselves.
For all I know, maybe this was a natural progression for them and this is where they wanted to go but as a fan from the outside looking in, it just doesn’t feel real or sincere. I’m all for bands growing and trying new things but Saturn’s dramatic shift into a new direction just left me feeling a bit lost at the crossroads. Hopefully they’ll make their way back to me and pick me but until then, I’ll just hang here and wait, hoping for their return.