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Album Reviews : Rings of Saturn – Lugal Ki En

By on January 12, 2015

Lugal_ki_enRings Of Saturn released my favourite album of 2014, in the same way that Garth Meranghi’s Dark Place is my favourite TV show, and my favourite piece of art was the rubbish heaped in a corner during a New Zealand competition. It’s fucked, and I know it’s fucked, and that’s what’s so enjoyable about it. They haven’t released a joke album; they’ve released one of the most impressive heavy metal albums I’ve ever heard as a joke. They’re fully aware of how good they are and it is, and they are not modest in the slightest. It makes my heart sing.

This is what happens when you give kids boundaries, limitations, or expectations. If you’ve grown up being told that Cryptopsy is technically impossible to beat, or that Suicide Silence is as heavy as you can get, or that guitar’s have been played to the end of their natural limitations, you’re eventually going to produce a bunch of little upstart twats that are going to demolish those preconceived notions, and do it with a cheeky grin and a middle finger. Rings Of Saturn are the Usain Bolt of metal; they’re wiping their arse with the competition while sashaying over the finishing line, just to really drive home how easy the whole thing was.

Every song is full of the most enjoyable youthful bullshit. It’s heavy, quick, impressive, and hungry, without the desperation you sometimes hear in bands a few years in. It’s like the album is one big in-joke and you’re not supposed to get it. I mean for fuck’s sake, they not only employ musical techniques, they use comedic techniques in their song writing (check out Lalassu Xul). My friend Jack (from Slice The Cake) put it perfectly – they’re the musical equivalent of a Trollface. The instrumental track seems to have a recorder solo, which means they either went out of their way to find an appropriate recorder sound on whatever software they were using, or someone actually played a recorder. I fucking love it.

I feel like they’re also entirely a product of “my time”. Its young people music – irreverent, sarcastic, with impressive potential if they’d just apply themselves in class and stop distracting the other students. The heavy sections are deathcore x 10^8, with the shriek/growl interplay on the vocals, while the guitar solos could be one of those midi-track manuscripts released online as a laugh. They sound like The Innernette, like kids that grew up wanting high scores in Guitar Hero, and whose sense of melody was mostly informed by Lavender Town in Pokemon Red (I really can’t emphasize just more how much their songs remind me of my first Game Boy). And given the world we live in, with professional grade software available online for free OR SO I’VE BEEN TOLD, this album sounds better than most that have been released in the last 30 years. The mix and master are world class, but I wouldn’t be at all surprised if they did it themselves. They’ve probably got one or two of those musically apt prodigy dickheads in the band, the ones that are effortlessly great at everything they try.

Rings Of Saturn should shit me. But the only thing I like more than a perfectly executed metal album is a facetious joke made at everyone’s expense. And fuck me if this isn’t the best of both worlds. They’re not a joke band, in any way. They’re one of the best bands currently performing, but unfortunately for everyone who takes themselves seriously, they know it. They’re better than your band. They’re heavier. They’re more capable. Probably more successful too. And if you can image what that smug sense of youthful pride sounds like, that’s Lugal Ki En. And god damn I love it. It’s my favorite album of 2014 and I hope you hate it, you stuffy cunt.

Band: Rings of Saturn
Album: Lugal Ki En
Genre: Deathcore
Label: Unique Leader Records
Origin: Bay Area, USA


Mitch is a 26 year old vegan, socialist, atheist, utilitarian, reductionist metalhead, stand up comedian and philosophy major that hates labels. When he isn't being politely ignored at dinner parties he's being politely ignored on comedy nights around the country.