Release DetailsLABEL Spinefarm
RELEASED ON 3/22/2004
posted on 7/2004 By:
OK, I’ve been putting this off long enough. So now I have shut off the TV, cracked a beer, and will do my best to complete the task before me.
After repeated listening to Saturnalia, I have yet to feel a damn thing: no joy, no loathing, nothing. I guess I can say its in the vein of Babylon Whores and HIM with a slight punk rock edge, which brought to mind bands like Betty Blowtorch, Halfcocked, and Fabulous Disaster. Oh yeah, did I mention the lead vocalist is female? Frontwoman/bandleader Claudia Carnal is more than up to the task, but like many female vocalists, her range is limited. Still, you can’t help but get a slight tingling in your crotch when she croons “You want to see me posing for you dirty/You want to hear my high heels knocking the ground/You want to see me shaking my ass just to fulfill your fantasy” on disc opener “Flyin’ G”, followed by the chorus line “For my own delight, my crotch makes you mesmerized”. Wow. So, from the outset, you might expect a slutty, trashy rock/metal record, right?
Wrong! Well, not entirely. Apparently, this is a concept album based on the ancient Roman winter solstice celebration that gave this album its name, a holiday of “merry-making, sloth, gluttony, and fornication”, and role-reversal between masters and servants, parents and children. Sounds like a great time, eh? But damn, that’s a pretty obscure topic for this or most any genre. So, we get songs here telling of times and people during this festival, like the unchaste “Gibson Girl” and “The Fool”.
I don’t really feel like getting into lyrical content much beyond what’s been said already, so lets look at the music a little more. I’m hearing elements of rock, punk, prog, and goth here. We’ve got melancholy in “Saturnalia”, up-tempo rock in “Flyin’ G”, multiple changes in “Child of Lies”, the punk-with-keyboard sound of “Love”, and the epic “The Lowest of the Low”, which features some killer guitar work, but also a 2+ minute break of silence in the middle. I guess it’s supposed to be a fake ending to the album, but it comes back in with more soloing over the rhythm.
If you’ve got a thing for fem-fronted goth-tinged metal, definitely pick this one up. If you’re into concept albums, give it a try. If you like chicks singing about sex and sin, go for it. Hell, even you history buffs may take a liking to it. Most of the metal crowd, though, can ignore this album and it won’t affect their lives one bit. But like I said in the beginning, I can’t say this album is good or bad, because I’m just not feeling a damn thing either way.
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