ALBUM REVIEW: Rings Of Saturn – Gidim

Release Date: October 25th 2019
Label: Nuclear Blast Records
Website: None available


With Rings Of Saturn, you can always be sure to expect an extremely technical combination of deathcore and straight death metal, and a listening experience which will certainly stick in the memory. Having been a band for ten years now, we arrive at their fifth album, ‘Gidim’.

‘Pustules’ opens very much as you’d expect, with incredibly technically impressive guitar work from Lucas Mann and Joel Omans. It’s haphazard and probably a bit much for some, but there’s a sense of fun that pervades, and you can’t help but wish that more deathcore would be as adventurous as this.

‘Hypodermis Glitch’ is slightly more straight down the line, much closer to deathcore territory, but not without the signature noodly guitar lines coming in every so often. Vocalist Ian Bearer can also switch adeptly between the death growls here and the more high-pitched growls in places. The guitar lines also go into discordant territory too, adding another layer of depth.

And in ‘Bloated And Stiff’, the solid and fluid transitions in between the blast-driven sections and the more deathcore-leaning chugged parts prove that there’s more to Rings Of Saturn than the surface-level madness. The acoustic guitars that end the song offer a moment of respite, as well as diversifying their palette further.

What’s also noticeable, on top of the lightning speed way they’re played, is the guitars are so crisp-sounding that they even resemble 8-bit synths at times, almost like a video game soundtrack about to explode.

‘Mental Prolapse’, which opens with some washy synths, is perhaps the strongest offering on here. The guitar lines can occasionally provide memorable parts that define a song, and it does so adeptly, and it segues nicely into the half-time section, the groove of which definitely helps to up the ante. It’s testament that a song like this can still keep us in our seats, guessing what’s coming next.

‘Genetic Inheritance’ features some more subtle build ups, and the xylophone pattern is another left-field idea that sits well on top of the rest of the band.

The captivating instrumental title-track is the other highlight, though; even featuring some Steve Reich-like minimalist acoustic guitar work at one point. Whilst it’s got the trademark noodling, it still feels different and maintains the feeling of taking you on a journey. The fade-out feels somewhat premature, and even a little unnecessary, but it still ends things on a high note.

Whilst Rings Of Saturn could certainly do with being a little bit less one-dimensional, ‘Gidim’ is an enjoyable effort which deserves credit for acting as a refreshing alternative to the all too familiar deathcore formula.