BAND OF THE WEEK: HIGH PRIEST OF SATURN

6 May

Some believe when Saturn ascends, it portends the next stage of life. Some believe when High Priest of Saturn descend, it portends a crushing amplifier assault, a massive monument to the meditative side of metal.

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The cosmic appeal of the heavy, of the metallic and monolithic, in all of its various, shape-shifting and serpentine forms, should need no explanation, nor will the uninitiated receive one here. We believe in one God, the Father Iommi, maker of “Heaven and Hell,” and of all things visible and invisible.

As such, we say with great approval that this High Priest of Saturn descends from the High Priest of Sabbath, but – of course – there’s more to it than that. The pace of the two songs made available for free download on the band’s Bandcamp page – two songs that combine for nearly 22 minutes of metaphysical menace – allows for much reflection, allows for the listener to find their own celestial bodies amongst the reign of cosmic debris. For us, we bend our knees before the Priest just more than halfway through “The Protean Towers,” when the void-filling vocals give way to a lunatic guitar lead, drenched in delay, and seemingly in collision with the very heart of the song, with the very heart of the band, with the very heart of the known universe. Through the lead, we are led to a moment of calm amongst that chaos, before the Priest joins an intergalactic Lord most high in prayer, with an other-worldly, unexplainably heavy organ coda threatening to unveil the unseen keys to the cosmos.

Either that, or it’s just really, really heavy, dude. As above, so below. Turn it up – let us pray.

Download “The Protean Towers” by High Priest of Saturn

High Priest of Saturn

 “With some cleverly designed electronics, you can transmit specially encoded radio waves that can then be transformed into sound. This ingenious apparatus has come to be known as ‘radio.’ So by virtue of extending our sense of sight, we have also, in effect, managed to extend our sense of hearing. But any source of radio waves, or practically any source of energy at all, can be channeled to vibrate the cone of a speaker, although journalists occasionally misunderstand this simple fact. For example, when radio emission was discovered from Saturn, it was simple enough for astronomers to hook up a radio receiver that was equipped with a speaker. The radio-wave signal was then converted to audible sound waves whereupon one journalist reported that ‘sounds’ were coming from Saturn and that life on Saturn was trying to tell us something … In many ways the task of mapping galaxies is no different from that facing the fifteenth and sixteenth-century cartographers, whose renditions of continents – distorted though they were – represented a noble human attempt to describe worlds beyond one’s physical reach.” – “Cosmic Windows” essay from Death by Black Hole and Other Cosmic Quandaries by Neil DeGrasse Tyson

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