Take a trip back in time with 'Sat-urn', the follow up to the self titled 2010 debut release from Shinin' Shade, the progressive, psychedelic, stoner/doom rock five piece from Parma, Italy.
The band has seen a few line-up changes since their formation in 2005, the most significant being the addition of Jane Esther-Collins who joined the band as lead vocalist, one of their best decisions.
They take their influences from bands like Grand Funk Railroad, Rolling Stones, Black Sabbath, Pentagram and Electric Wizard, so musically it is very much a down tuned, stoner, psychedelic, throw back sound and I felt like I had travelled back in time as I listened, the only giveaway that I was still in the twenty – first century was the high quality of the production.
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Although there's nothing new to their sound, what they do they do well and Jane Esther-Collins' vocals are very good, rich, quite deep at times, very powerful and with a great range and very listenable. I am not normally a fan of female vocals but I do like these.
The musicianship is good also, I loved the down-tuned, doom laden bass from Roger Davis, which was the highlight of the album for me and often it took on a rather appealing, sleazy groove.
There are seven tracks and all are over five minutes long so you need pace yourself. There was no stand out track for me, I found myself drifting along with the music and had to keep checking where I was, track wise, although in many ways, this epitomises my idea of the nature of this genre, so they must be doing something right and the album is fully listenable across all the tracks, no need to get out of the comfy chair to skip a track.
Opening on 'Our Time And Space', a track that's so laid back it's practically horizontal until midway through and the pace quickens briefly and takes on a strong psychedelic edge before levelling out again.
The album maintains pretty much the same pace and tempo throughout, with a few nice solos in places particularly towards the later end of 'Through The Wires Of Your Mind' and at the early part of 'Keyhole/Inner Saturn', a track also where Jane Esther-Collins' vocals can be appreciated at their best, for range and execution, brilliantly offset against the mega distorted and doom laden bass work.
There's a super slow, darkly doom laden opener on 'Over-Sea Nightmares'. On 'Nowhere Dimension' the sleazy riff that kept popping up in at the beginning caught my ear and 'Denied Lovers' has nice discordant edge at times and more super sleazy bass work.
The final track 'Epic Talking' pulls you back out of the reverie you may have slipped into with a lighter feel to its construct, it's slightly more prominent in the drum department and not the same heavy groove found on the previous tracks, but still maintaining a hypnotic quality to the sound.
This is not a motivational album to put on your MP3 player for a trip to the gym but from a chill-ax perspective it ticks all the boxes, just press the play button and drift. 'Sat-urn' should appeal to fans of the previously mentioned, influential bands or to anyone with a penchant for a bit of psychedelic stoner rock.