Saturnian Mist Gnostikoi Ha-Shaitan

Having released a self-titled demo in 2008, a split EP with Creatura and a solo EP, Repellings, in 2009, Gnostikoi Ha-Shaitan is Finnish black metal band Saturnian Mist's first full-length record to date. The production is a bit cleaner than much black metal, though still quite muddy and raw for most genres. The record is characterized by a strong melodic sensibility. The harsh, cold vibrato of the quintessentially black metal guitar tone is anchored by each song's solid, even, heavy structure. Each track has a powerful narrative drive that pushes it forward, propelling the listener along. This album is definitely anchored in the progression and development of each number, and doesn't descend into atmospheric chaos. Gnostikoi Ha-Shaitan wants to tell a story, but what sets Saturnian Mist apart even further from many of their fellow black metallers are the vocals. Singer Zetekh employs a throaty, growling scream that sounds much more like a typical hardcore style of vocalization, as opposed to the usual glacial hisses and shrieks adopted by most black metal vocalists. This quality gives the album a more muscular feel, as well as keeping it warmer, especially during the spoken-work passages. Zetekh also employs anguished shrieks, breathy chanting and deep, clean singing. Saturnian Mist have a vocalist with a great many tools, and who uses them well. They aren't as delicate as much experimental black metal, but rather are prosaic and solid ― all foundation and very little smoke. This gives the band a strength that's refreshing. (Ahdistuksen Aihio)