Rings of Saturn
Dingir


3.5
great

Review

by Michael Snoxall USER (47 Reviews)
October 31st, 2012 | 391 replies


Release Date: 02/05/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: “Well sure, you say they’re technical, but can they sweep pick?”

2009 saw a young and eager band by the name of Rings of Saturn hit the scene. Comprised of a few high school friends, the band put forth a unique blend of music (self-dubbed ‘aliencore’) that edged hideously close on the border between full-blown deathcore and technical death metal. With the self-release of debut album Embryonic Anomaly, the band was quickly snatched up by Unique Leader records and had the debut re-released in 2010. What we saw on Embryonic Anomaly was the band’s obvious technical prowess, with tons of technicality, brutality and a rare idiosyncrasy to boot, but what it lacked was focused song-writing, emotion and musical experience. After extensive touring with various bands (the likes of which being among Between the Buried and Me, Fleshgod Apocalypse, The Faceless and Decrepit Birth), Rings of Saturn hit the studio with a brand new vocalist (found in Youtube user Ian Bearer), drummer (one Ian Baker) and bassist (Sean Martinez, also Decrepit Birth’s current live bassist) to record their anticipated sophomore effort: Dingir. Having had Dingir leaked in its unfinished pre-production form, as well as having the release date for the album set back a few months, the band had been triggered to stream the complete, polished version of Dingir to the public a good four months early, with full faith in the band’s fanbase that they would purchase Dingir upon its February 5th release date.

Embryonic Anomaly was a release that was plagued by quite a few problems. Firstly, the album was all over the place. It was brimming with ideas, but the band never really executed any of them, just rather presented them unfinished before moving onto the next segment. While still an enjoyable album, overall it was sloppy, incoherent and full of nonsensical transitions and song structures. What it made up for in sheer technicality and sweeps (oh, the sweeps), it lacked in creative ingenuity, riffs and memorability. The production on the drums was so crystal clear that they sounded mechanic and it led to belief that the drums were done by a drum machine. The album suffered from this sense of monotony that eventually led to disinterest in the album over time, where it became a chore to listen to, rather than a pleasure.
Well, the drums on Dingir appear to be victim of the same over-production problem they experience on the debut, but in everything else, the band have out-classed themselves and provided fans with a more mature, well-rounded and enjoyable release. And yes, this still sweeps as much as a janitor.

While on a first listen, Dingir may come off as being as cluttered as its cover art, the finished product isn’t so. Through multiple listens, the album presents itself as surprisingly coherent and calculated in its conception. The album opens on an impressive note with the song ‘Objective to Harvest,’ with new vocalist Bearer quickly showing off his guttural lows and screeching highs, which are a definite improvement from former vocalist Peter Pawlak’s performance on Embryonic Anomaly. And while this all seems standard fare, the band chugging and sweeping their way through monotony, the obnoxious snare pounding away in its over-produced state, the album shines its first moments of brilliance: a rising and (dare I say) uplifting guitar solo accompanied by a rather simple riff, which isn’t a problem, as it easily out-shines any moment on Embryonic Anomaly and is instantly more memorable. The album only goes up from here, the band performing admirably with wacky riff experimentation and breakdowns that are actually in good taste, the kind that help bring a welcome addition to a song’s structure and are melded well into the music.

The musicianship is at an all time high here, the bass isn’t ignored (though does feel a little buried in the production) and shines admirably on songs like ‘Galactic Cleansing’ and ‘Utopia’. The guitars actually provide substance this time around, with lots of wonderfully executed soloing and riffs that double up with vocal hooks to bring forth a sense of involvement and enjoyment that I never experienced with the last album. And with it all, it’s actually obvious this time around that the band love what they’re doing. You can hear emotional and creative investment in the obvious effort that went into making this album. Instead of making an album I can just listen to and enjoy on occasion, they’ve made an album I can jam to; I want to move, I want to headbang, I can really feel the music. While I do sound like I’m praising this an awful lot, it’s not without its flaws. While undoubtedly a massive step up for the band, Dingir still suffers some similar monotony that was found all throughout Embryonic Anomaly. With songs like ‘Shards of Scorched Flesh,’ ‘Peeling Arteries’ and ‘Hyperforms’ effectively going nowhere, I find myself bored by these tracks and feel they could be so easily spiced up, because the band show all throughout this album that they’re capable of more than anyone had really anticipated. And all throughout the entire record, the band still play like they have a serious and incurable case of The Doodlies, in which the musicians feel compelled by nature to noodle, sweep, blast beat and snare roll their way through each composition as distastefully as possible.

Finishing off with a bang, the last three tracks, ‘Fruitless Existence,’ ‘Immaculate Order’ and ‘Utopia’ really show what the band have to offer. While ‘Fruitless Existence’ seems standard fare for most its three minute play time, it falls into a very enjoyable and epic solo, then bridging into ‘Immaculate Order’ in which the band showcase their ability to jam tasty riffs, edgy hooks and let Bearer’s vocals really shine before breaking it all down into the closing five minute instrumental ‘Utopia’.
With ‘Utopia,’ Rings of Saturn are as enjoyable, precise and coherent as they’ve ever been. This track is packed full of memorable grooves, drum beats, guitar solos, riffs, and even quieter, more solemn sections that really push the boundaries of what the band is capable of. After all is said and done, Rings of Saturn has grown exponentially as a band and has the chops to show just what it can do. An undeniable step up from the technically impressive, but lacklustre debut Embryonic Anomaly, Dingir is sure to please old fans and even bring in new ones. Those skeptical about this band, I implore you to give this a try, as it may hold Rings of Saturn in a new light for you.



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user ratings (276)
Chart.
3.4
great
other reviews of this album
SlMBOLlC (2)
A stronger emphasis on structure is an improvement, yet still the same over the top Rings of Saturn ...


Comments:Add a Comment 
MichaelSnoxall
October 31st 2012


12163 Comments


Didn't expect to like this as much as I do. I rated the debut a 2.5, this really impressed me.

Youtube stream: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=pPe9OD9a0Qs

Official free download: http://total-deathcore.com/rings-of-saturn-dingir-official-album-stream-and-download-
exclusive/

apert
October 31st 2012


3067 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

pos'd i might check this out, sounds like its similar to the faceless

MichaelSnoxall
October 31st 2012


12163 Comments


I was thinking of putting Planetary Duality in the recommended albums section, but went with Fallujah instead.

mindleviticus
October 31st 2012


8331 Comments


Still haven't decided what to rate it. I agree it's better than the debut with improved songwriting and it's a lot more progressive, but they still kept their wankery almost deathcore sound. The debut had that huge shock factor to it. This felt a lot less shocking in comparison.

mindleviticus
October 31st 2012


8331 Comments


Oh yeah and POS'd good review

KILL
October 31st 2012


72280 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

band fuckin sucks

Digging: Throwing Muses - Throwing Muses

MichaelSnoxall
October 31st 2012


12163 Comments


damn

MO
October 31st 2012


19078 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

"the bass isn’t ignored (though does feel a little buried in the production)"

understatement of the century, this album sounds like two guitars, over-produced drums and a singer, no bass in sight

MichaelSnoxall
October 31st 2012


12163 Comments


Aye, it's very buried, but when it has its turn to be heard, it performs pretty damn great. Especially on the last track.

mindleviticus
October 31st 2012


8331 Comments


Faces Imploding has a horrible breakdown

Eulogize
October 31st 2012


2969 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Good review, good album.

FictionalFlames
October 31st 2012


1517 Comments


Way to review an album that doesn't get released until next year in February. For your own sake I hope you saved it.

MichaelSnoxall
October 31st 2012


12163 Comments


Faces Imploding has a horrible breakdown

Objective to Harvest has an awesome breakdown though, so it's all good.

Way to review an album that doesn't get released until next year in February. For your own sake I hope you saved it.

Man, you're really slow. The band streamed the album last week and have released an official download to counter the pre-production leak.

Buzzkillr
October 31st 2012


1541 Comments


Damn man, what is it with you getting so many negs all the time?

MichaelSnoxall
October 31st 2012


12163 Comments


People just love to hate me.

taylormemer
October 31st 2012


4953 Comments


That's your own fault.

MichaelSnoxall
October 31st 2012


12163 Comments


I never claimed otherwise.

taylormemer
October 31st 2012


4953 Comments


No, but there's your reason.

MichaelSnoxall
October 31st 2012


12163 Comments


Well, no shit, Confucius.

Buzzkillr
October 31st 2012


1541 Comments


why would they hate you tho? I mean, you are sorta annoying at times, but you seem alright.



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