Rings of Saturn
Nuclear Blast/Universal Music Australia
Reviewed By Andrew McKaysmith
Where to start? This is intense shit. Seriously fast and visual! Very visual! I started to write a traditional review where I typically offer examples of what I liked and what I thought could be improved but it just felt it was time to do something different. The architects of Ultu Ulla have produced a most unique deathcore extravaganza so I am inspired to follow my muse on this occasion and record my visualisations of the album's cuts. What follows is essentially a bit of science fiction writing to accompany the band’s music. The album’s cuts can be identified easily through the story via the use of italics.
Imagine that opener "Servant of Sentience" is the aural equivalent of the reflection of deep space constellations on an astronaut’s visor. He or she is hurtling perilously into a great void created by a dying star. The terror of accidentally detaching from a satellite’s berthing mechanism during a routine spacewalk gradually gives way to a grim acceptance of the situation at hand. After an aeon of interstellar movement, the senses are startled by a great sound of rushing air. "A Parallel Shift" occurs as the astronaut realises the sound is due to a rapid decline of pace.
Deep shades of red and orange begin to surround the unfortunate traveller. In this moment, the astronaut feels a glimmer of hope. "Unhallowed" as the scene may have appeared, there is a sense of comfort in feeling the gradual pull of something familiar.
“Gravity? No… denser than gravity. Is this the Sun? No.”
The colours penetrate through the spacesuit’s material. The colours feel like no other sensation the traveller could recall.
“What "Immemorial Essence" created such a power? Where am I…? Can I get back to the satellite?”
Overwhelmed with the sensation caused by the light, the traveller is transported to place of deep acceptance and tremendous wellbeing. "The Relic" first made its presence felt through a series of waves, or what felt like waves. Then a visual of the source, an ornate rhombic pyramid. Pulsing brilliant gold and copper tones of source energy.
"Margidda", the planet orbiting the gas giant Gibil appeared as a standard of a great deity on one of the four sides of the pyramid. The creators, they are an ancient race of hominids that look and are very similar to the species terrestrially known as human beings. The ancients knew that through fate or destiny, it was inevitable one brave soul would venture far enough to discover the ornate script under the planet symbol. However even they could never have predicted if the traveller possessed the will to understand its message. Would the traveller unlock its secrets?
Curious and full of gratitude, the traveller knows only to reach for the pyramid. Weighing surprisingly little and small enough to be held in one hand, the other three sides reveal a moving pantomime of a great civilisation that captivate and spellbind.
“Who were these people? So much of their life looks like mine on earth… what is that technology they are using?”
"Prognosis Confirmed" were kind and assuring words echoed decades ago to the traveller. As a child and pretending to be a ‘patient’, the traveller encouraged one of their beloved parents to play the role of ‘Doctor’.
“Why are they the words under the unusual symbol of the planet?”
Suffice to say that it is "Inadequate" to even try and explain what happened. The traveller was back on earth and in the flesh at one of the very moment’s in their childhood when the doctor/ patient scene was playing out. In truth, there is no script under the symbol of the deity on the pyramid. A series of symbols are interpreted by the readers highest level of consciousness and offered as a means to travel to any part of the cosmos, or at any moment in the human construct known as time.
The rhombic pyramid is a reminder of the great potential in all sentient beings. Its presence is a prompt for the reader to re-create and re-member their purpose. Why the traveller sought the comfort of their early childhood is revealed in the pain of their adolescence and the events that inspired years of study and training so they could travel to deep space.
If the inscription could be read passively in the ancient’s own dialect, it would read ‘Ultu Ulla’, or the universal sound for the Sumerian word meaning ‘time’ or ‘experience’.
More from Rings of Saturn
- Lugal Ki En [review]