SATURNUS - Veronika Decides To Die

Saturnus - Veronika Decides To Die

8 songs
59:19 minutes
***** ****


No one should say anymore that modern metalheads only care about their tattoos and piercings, and apart from that are illiterate halfwits. Danish doom metal band Saturnus' third release Veronika Decides To Die is actually a concept album about Paolo Coelho's novel. Although I am not into Coelho's Christian mysticism, I still think Saturnus deserve respect to tackle such an unusual topic in a metal setting. From an intellectual point of view, this is therefore a winner, but alas the album itself was six years in the making, giving the impression that we have to deal with a very slow working band. Founded in the early Nineties as a death metal band, Saturnus released their debut album in 1996, came back two years later with a mini-CD, before the excellent Martyre put them on the metal atlas in 2000.

My first impression of this new album wasn't too exciting. I made the mistake to skip-listen to it. Saturnus are a band that demands your full attention, and from the eleven minute opener I Long on, you are bathed into melancholic doom metal sounds with melodic death metal vocals and guitars that actually seem to weep. Only the following Pretend is a bit more on the hardrocking side, but the nine minute Descending takes you down into the murkiest rivers of sadness again, with former King Diamond axe-man Michael Denner offering a guitar solo. Unlike many gothic bands who mistake sentimentality for true sentiment, Saturnus walk securely the gloomy doom path, without ever relying on kitsch and fake weepiness.

The production is assured by the legendary Flemming Rasmussen who helped define Metallica's sound back in the Eighties. Therefore it's no surprise that Saturnus have the best sound a doom band can wish for. Veronika Decides To Die is an album that needs time to grow on you, and I know as well as you do that these times it seems to be harder for us to find the necessary hour to spend with a CD, but if you are willing to make the effort, you will certainly not regret it.

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