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The North Wind is an independent student publication serving the Northern Michigan University community. It is partially funded by the Student Activity Fee. The North Wind digital paper is published daily during the fall and winter semesters except on university holidays and during exam weeks. The North Wind Board of Directors is composed of representatives of the student body, faculty, administration and area media.

Students protest against Israel-Hamas war with campus encampment
Students protest against Israel-Hamas war with campus encampment
Dallas WiertellaApril 30, 2024

Technical death metal album breaks mold

Unless one is a fan, seldom does a technical death metal release inspire any real reaction for the metal fan base.  Much of it is similar in composition and is often times have songs that are but excuses for musical masturbation.

However, there are a few exceptions that find themselves reaching the ears of metal heads.  Rings of Saturn’s sophomore release, “Dingir,” is one example.

The album starts off heavy, with some ole’-fashioned, bone-crushing riffs to engage the listener, with the track “Objective to Harvest.”  The track really shows the band’s fondness of down-tuned riff — age and video game-like lead guitar parts that Rings of Saturn showed on their first album, “Embryonic Anomaly.”  The heaviness is spread thickly throughout “Dingir,” being present on all songs but “Utopia,” the album’s instrumental finale, which is much more melodic than the rest of the album.

Rings of Saturn also makes use of breakdowns, a musical section that is designed to build tension and, in metal, is a slower, heavier riff.  These sections give a chance for the drummer to really show what he can do and he proceeds to give the listener an exposé on his drum technical.  And seeing as this is technical death metal, the drummer is guaranteed to be an astonishing musician.

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The lead is really the feature that sets “Dingir” apart from what other technical death metal bands of today are releasing.

For much of the album, the lead flows from seizure inducing cacophony to video game sound effects, giving much of the lead an atonal sound.  However, there are times when the band shows off their melodic side, such as the songs “Fruitless Existence” and “Utopia.”  While often overshadowed by the chaos and the choking riffs, the melodic lead parts on “Dingir” have a reflective feel to them, they are usually very atmospheric, giving a clear feeling of place within the songs.  If the listener lets their mind wander during the listen, “Utopia” brings to mind images of a beautiful and immaculate world, that doesn’t seem “happy” per say, but is instead majestic and well-constructed.

However, the album can at times be a bit repetitive.  The riffs, while definitely heavy, aren’t very memorable.  The songs are technical musically, but are just that sometimes, technical.  They aren’t always interesting.  The vocals also might turn off some listeners with their erratic change from lower vocal growl and a high-pitched screech.

If the listener is a fan of technical death metal, this is an excellent album that shows the more interesting side of extreme metal.  The heaviness is there, the leads are erratically interesting and the drums are crushing.

This is a great listen and I recommend it at least once for any fan of modern metal.

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