Mount Saturn – Kiss The Ring

Band: Mount Saturn
Title: Kiss The Ring
Label: Independent
Release Date: 04 January 2019
Country: USA
Format reviewed: Digital Bought

Woah! What is this then? Who is that on vocals? Those riffs! Sold on the first refrain! These being my initial reactions to the opening salvo of ‘Dwell’, the mammoth lead of track off ‘Kiss the Ring’ from Washington Heavy/Doom Metallers MOUNT SATURN, I couldn’t resist further investigation.

“Kiss the Ring” is a 25 minute, 4 track EP that showcases all the hallmarks of band who know exactly where they what to go and how to get there! This is quality heavy blues based Stoner Doom with a spacey psychedelic edge captured via one the most thrilling productions I have heard on a record from a band peddling this style. There is a brilliant heaviness, a dirty slicing aural fuzz on this Erik Wallace production that is both confronting in its rage and also in its epic, gloomy, somewhat melancholic atmosphere. So good is the ‘feel’ of this EP that it often gives the impression that you’re listening to a band with years of work behind them. But their days are young and the future, it seems, is looking extremely bright.

Without disrespecting the solid work of the bottom end rhythm section of bassist Cody Barton and drummer Tanner Scinocco (who has since departed), MOUNT SATURN has two massive aces in their deck; Guitarist Ray Blum and vocalist Violet Vasquez. Lord, what a duo! From the outset, Blum simply blew me away with his ability to work between riff and lead modalities – taking his cues from a number of old school classic rock influences (Lizzy – Gorham & Robertson, Motorhead & Fast Eddie Clarke among a host of others), he has been able to devise a superb filthy tone that simply permeates all nooks and crevasses of this EP. And his lead work is outstanding – violent, intense, melodic and passionate throughout, his phrasing lends as certain character to Mount Saturn’s sound that is all his own.

Then we have Violet Vasquez! Boy, I did not expect a voice like this! Now, I am a massive sucker for a powerful female vocalist in heavy music (Ann Wilson and Pat Benatar started it all) and from the opening salvo lyric on ‘Dwell’ I knew we had something special going on here. Violet IS MOUNT SATURN’s point of difference. Using a deliberate and distinctive cavernous, bewitching vocal production, Violet’s performance on this EP is all about emotive power – clean, booming, ethereal and scathing in equal measure – Incredibly, Violet is totally self-taught – her work is breathtaking and for me, she has one of the coolest and most characteristic sounding voices in the Doom/Stoner game.

At 4 tracks and 25 minutes, this EP clearly left me wanting more. It’s a very easy decision to hit repeat and run through this multiple times in one setting. “Kiss the Ring” is a most impressive start from this new Doom quartet and really, it is only a taste of what MOUNT SATURN are all about. With further honing of their craft in the live setting and the selling out the first pressing of this disc, MOUNT SATURN should have the drive and motivation to develop their sound further. With one of the more striking Doom sounds on offer and a vocalist that can move mountains, I look forward to hearing what is around the corner for this band. 8/10 KMaN

 

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8/10 To Greatness and Glory
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