SATURNIAN MIST Achieves Gnosis on Shamatanic

            I first discovered these Finnish wizards back in 2015 with their second grimoire titled Chaos Magick, and to me it was one of the most unique works in recent years. I’ve been eagerly waiting for more new material since then, and now SATURNIAN MIST have returned with Shamatanic, a third full-length phenomenon that sharpens their innovative style. This satanic and shamanic union upholds a centralized chaos, with diverse elements channeled into its organic sound, and these intertwine with the various energies conjured by melodies and solos to form evocative passages. The riffing crushes but also possesses the hypnotic quality of black metal, which is appropriate for an art exploring the science behind altered states, and its massive arrangements leave an enduring impact. The primal spirit of SATURNIAN MIST is retained but also evolves on Shamatanic, and the result offers an enlightening venture into subconscious realms.

            A melody leads the initiation with various percussive influences on “Ill-Mystic,” and they course through a rhythmic heaviness that shifts to include sections of brooding arpeggiated flow. Melancholic notes emerge within the expanding bleakness, and the riffing progresses with other intoxicated tones to unveil a maddened vocal passage. A distinct and deeper harshness is employed by Frater Zetekh, who here conveys the state induced during a spiritual invocation, and the elements heighten with tremolo melodies before unleashing a direct assault on “Blood Magick.” Its pounding force drifts into a groove from the accentuated drum timing, and soloing manifests until the resuming blasts persist on “Chaos is the Law.” An ethereal presence is echoed from tribal drums as the heavy progressions conspire with shifting rhythms, and organ keys signal a gathering energy that culminates in striking leadwork. The imprint from this soaring break is reinforced by further amassing, and it transfers to “The Manifestation,” where blast beats and dense riffing evolve with multiple ambient effects. A majestic aura develops alongside fluctuating beats, and the vehement combination of grooving pulse with soloing elevates these expressions into transcendence.

            A steady pace follows on “Altar of Flesh and Blood,” with atmospheric features noted in its altering patterns, and the riffing emphasizes a change that builds toward melodic soloing. This unfolds while a vocal continuum merges with the musical expanse, and bleak impressions are launched until a quote from Carl Jung reflects the scientific perspective on magic. Vocal whispers and a somber melodic tone emerge, which is carried by intricate percussive layers to a fitting expansion of gloom on “The End Times.” Its arpeggiated form proceeds with orchestral support, and the heavy rhythm evolves into soloing from intervallic and tremolo progressions. Their epic force is sustained and driven to further immensity through various drum transitions, and the cumulative energy renews on “Arbatel of Black Magick,” where tremolo melodies appear in the midst of rhythmic accented notes. Entrancing melodies circulate around the crushing force of riffs and blasts that interact effectively with a recording of Aleister Crowley, and this intense combination advances to a grooving shift on the title track. Its swinging course breaks with sections of pointed heaviness, and folk nuances develop within frenzied tribal drumming before the experience reaches its true completion on “Ipsissimus.” This CD bonus track produces a grounding effect from its clean arpeggiated melodies and hypnotic flow, along with other elements that bring the work to a contemplative conclusion.

            Chaos remains rooted in the occult subject matter while, as the title suggests, exploring a left-handed variation of shamanism, and the lyrics depict ritual practice with philosophical concepts beginning on “Ill-Mystic.” It describes an “awakening of the serpent power,” and invocatory passages summon “the terrible and invisible god.” Dualities unite through reflections viewed as “enthralling and atrocious at the very same time,” and other ideas are introduced with “magick is us expanded into one thought” before the universality of our earthly lifeforce is portrayed on “Blood Magick.” This track gives a new perspective on “The Blood is the Life,” and interpreting its magick as “Nature’s alchemy” seems relatable to the overarching shamanic theme. Chaos is likewise creeping behind every veil on “Chaos is the Law,” and a “secret order” is acknowledged within its “unbound power.” It is revealed to be the main source where “everything has begun and to you everything will return,” and “everlasting progress” is within its “mouth of darkness, the endless abyss.” A ritual offering of flesh and blood on “The Manifestation” leads to a “horrifying and naked truth,” along with contemplations on the numerous connections between man and the universe. This knowledge proves to be a burden once “I have become the one I feared,” with that being one “familiar with The Great Mystery.”

            Multiple selves appear to be present during the conjuring on “Altar of Flesh and Blood,” and their mortal incarnation is recognized as a “finite expression of infinite thought” and “the bridge and the tension between the two worlds.” Its sacrifice leads into the inner temple, which is what matters most since “all that is divine lives also in you and in me,” and the intersection of life and death is depicted on “The End Times.” An endless cycle continues at its converging point with “this is where I was born, this is where I come to die,” and a spirit is further separated from the flesh on “Arbatel of Black Magick” after an awakening “guided by the forces of nature and darkness.” This awakening comes with a price on “Shamatanic,” and the soul is tested with a struggle for control as “the summoned powers you always sought for are tearing you apart from the deep within.” The ability to see the truth of everything reveals that “you are your demons and the demons are you!” while “all that you’ve done strikes back to your face,” and these thoughts all coalesce into one before reaching “Ipsissimus.” This Latin term represents the highest achievable rank in the order, and it’s personified here with vows of secrecy while continuing “the Great Work” as a “wanderer” and “trickster.” Many interesting and thoughtful developments become in the lyrics, which show the importance of caution when dealing with certain forces, but also strive for wisdom and higher attainment.

            This year has brought a strong return for SATURNIAN MIST, and many qualities from the previous releases are honed and amplified on Shamatanic. Their style continues incorporating a variety of features, with some crushing riffs that could rival death metal while bleak and hypnotic tones emanate from others, and blast beaten force cooperates with rhythmic flow as a tribal spirit is embodied by the expansive drumming. These arrangements display enhanced atmospheric complements, along with epic soloing passages to drive lasting developments, and each song has its own unique element that makes it easily memorable. Many valid occult interpretations are conveyed in black metal, but SATURNIAN MIST forms a genuine portrayal of this science by directing its natural and philosophical aspects through an earthy sound. Shamanism is also a fascinating and welcome addition to their chaotic sphere, and the creative potency of Shamatanic gives credence to the phrase: “Nothing is true. Everything is permitted.”

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