The Angel (William Blake – 1757-1827)
I dreamt a dream! What can it mean? And that I was a maiden Queen
Guarded by an Angel mild: Witless woe was ne’er beguiled!
And I wept both night and day, And he wiped my tears away;
And I wept both day and night, And hid from him my heart’s delight.
So he took his wings, and fled; Then the morn blushed rosy red.
I dried my tears, and armed my fears With ten thousand shields and spears.
Soon my Angel came again; I was armed, he came in vain;
For the time of youth was fled, And grey hairs were on my head.
Kronos is a figure out of the ancient Greek mythology. He’s the equivalent of the deity Saturnus in Roman mythology. Son of Uranus and Gaia and one of the youngest of the Titans. The myth has it that he devoured all of his children at birth, to prevent them from seizing his throne.
Good. Alright – but what have the William Blake poem and the figure of Kronos to do with Maxime Taccardi’s Saturnian Tempel?
Two of the songs on “Krónos” are about this god, Saturnus ( hence the band name ) and the main theme, the concept is about the vastness of space and how advanced man made science destroys this planet.
The cover of this album was inspired by the “Angel” paintings of the Spanish artist Francisco Goya. Rather unexpected, as I would have chosen Goya’s Pinturas Negras. Another mayor influence are paintings from the earlier mentioned William Blake – my guess: the watercolour paintings of the biblical “The Great Red Dragon”.
Enough of inspirations and the marriage between heaven and hell – Saturnian Tempel is another new chapter in Maxime Taccardi’s discography.
The album kicks off with the “Angel”. Down-tuned, distorted guitars set the pitch black mood and vocals, resembling a primal animalistic scream, are unleashed. No necro vocals this time, no bile about decay and filth, no pathos….pure raw primordial violence. The pace is slow, genre abysmal, cavernous Funeral Black/Doom. Reverb is used to enhance the feeling of darkness, bewilderment and fear. Influences from Winter or even, an Abruptum come to mind, although these are real songs instead of the blind insanity of the ‘evil’ Swedes of old.
Drums are audible, but shoved in the back where they pound on the rhythm of rowers on a galley ship or even accelerate and climax to blast beating. Saturnian Tempel differs from K.F.R.’s hallucinogenic frenzy, because this is more in your face. The morbid guitar sound often reminds of the atonal eerie smothered guitars on Mayhem’s “Ordo ad Chao” album. The ultra-doom-ish aspect is constantly emphasized by the thick layers of distortion, the low rumbling bass – adding even more tension to the songs. Maxime not only handles vocals on his album, but also lead guitars, bass on one track and moderate synths. A musician named Déhà takes care of guitar, bass, synth and drums. An ocean of difference with the trance like music from K.F.R., where Maxime does everything himself.
Songs as “The Twelve Apostles Of Matter”, the gravitational pull of “Kronos” or “A Greater Scheme For A Greater Ending” are cosmic bombardments of epic proportion. And throughout all tracks, the overall sound remains ultra-heavy, doom-ish as hell and mercilessly suffocating.
The haunting, rather moody and monolithic cover of Placebo’s “My Sweet Prince” provides some breathing room, although this song doesn’t lack the momentum that propels the other songs. And a certain point, the music even picks up in speed – stampeding into a cataclysmic apex. It all seems rather basic and simple – but the music is far more than that.
As usual, Maxime knew what he wanted. He had envisaged it and managed to reproduce his vision into Metal. The spacey “I Carry The Stench Of Divinity” which features a spoken passage ( Einstein? ) closes the album. Boosted by an droning volume, this song represents order from chaos, the colliding of planets and the unspeakable forces that reign in deep space…The cosmos, as perceived by Maxime Taccardi.
The album was mixed and awesomely mastered at the Opus Magnum Studio, where “Nihilist” and the latest GRIIIM album were recorded.
Conclusion: “Krónos” is by far thé album that delves really deep into Black Metal, seamlessly fusing it with Funeral Doom.
The tracks are minimal 7 minutes in length, although no Doom Metal boredom and repetitive guitar lines, etcetera, can be heard. Maxime knows how to avoid boredom.
It is a very INTENSE album, both in musical efforts and in sound. I found myself gasping for breath after listening to it. “Krónos” sets new standards for the Black/Doom genre. You can take my word for it.
Those, who like the K.F.R. albums, or the more experimental GRIIIM releases… needless to say this one is mandatory.
Others, who hate this music, are advised to have a serious listening session with this album, nonetheless.
This album will be released on vinyl by Heavy Music Artwork UK, who are also responsible for releasing Maxime’s “The Book of Death”. (LCF)