Saturnus - _Martyre_
(Euphonious Records / Voices of Wonder, 2000)
by: Pedro Azevedo (8 out of 10)
With this follow-up to their fine debut _Paradise Belongs to You_ and the excellent _For the Loveless Lonely Nights_ MCD, Saturnus carry on with their lovelorn, broken-hearted melodic doom. Things have become somewhat softer than before, and indeed quite far from the doom/death of their debut, though much of the guitar style is recognisable and both the death vox and spoken parts are still used (though not as much of the former as I would have liked). A new vocal style, which turns out to be perhaps predominant overall, has been introduced: half-sung, half-growled, not far from the style of Darren White (Anathema), though occasionally with a rather more "rocking" feel and not quite reaching similar emotional quality. It is soft, melodic, darkly romantic, but fine tracks such as "Inflame thy Heart", "Noir" and "A Poem (Written in Moonlight)" eventually begin to give way to a generally somewhat less accomplished second half of the album. A percussion-less version of the excellent "Thou Art Free" from their previous MCD provides a good segue midway through the album, but I still prefer the original -- as a matter of fact, my favourite Saturnus track is still "Starres" from that MCD. Quite a bit of _Martyre_ sounds like it would have benefited from a more frequent use of death vocals instead of the Darren-like ones, and some rather happy-ish (or at least excessively rocking) passages do sometimes spoil the atmosphere quite a bit, but Saturnus' skill does overcome that in order to produce a very good record indeed. Overall, _Martyre_ is a well performed, easily enjoyable and not very demanding doom album.

(article published 12/8/2000)

8/12/2000 P Azevedo Saturnus: For the Loveless Lonely Lives
5/18/2006 P Azevedo 8 Saturnus - Veronika Decides to Die
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